If you have kids, you know that getting them to take a supplement is a lot easier if it’s a form that they like. Most kids either can’t or won’t swallow a pill, and they turn up their noses at anything that tastes bad. Knowing that the supplement may be of great value to their health, does very little to convince them to take it. A quick and easy answer that many parents look to is giving their kids vitamins or supplements in chewable form. Sure, something that looks and tastes like a gummy bear is probably not going to cause a fight with your toddler. This leads to the question of what’s the best chewable probiotics for kids? This answer is a little more complex than just giving you a product name, so we’ll outline our thoughts for responding to your questions about the best chewable probiotics for kids.
Before we talk about the best chewable probiotics for kids, the first question to answer is whether it’s possible to deliver the beneficial bacteria you want, in a chewable form. Unfortunately the answer is no in most cases. While we do have a small number of chewable probiotic supplements, we’ve found that this is not the right format for a kid’s daily supplement. Why? The bacteria in probiotics are delicate. To boost the healthy bacteria in your kids’ GI tracts, you need those bacteria to be delivered to the right part of the digestive system, while they are still potent. Delivering a couple of billion dead bacteria does no good.
Guaranteeing the potency of every strain of good bacteria in every Natren precision probiotic is hard work, but it’s work we’re proud to do. This is especially difficult because Natren commits to a guarantee that’s much more significant than most companies. We guarantee the potency of every strain of good bacteria through the expiration date printed on the bottle. What do other companies guarantee? Some guarantee nothing. Others guarantee the potency through the day the product was manufactured. How is that helpful for you? You don’t need bacteria that was healthy and thriving 3 months ago… you need bacteria that is healthy and thriving the day you (or your kids) take the supplements.
When Natasha Trenev, the founder of Natren and Mother of Probiotics, assembled a team of experts dedicated to the highest quality probiotics, she focused on excellence as the top priority. When they investigated ways to deliver good bacteria, and be able to guarantee the potency of that bacteria, they knew that the form of the supplement was key. There are two primary forms of probiotics that our experts knew would work in the majority of cases: powder and capsules. Using proprietary methods and detailed science, most of the Natren products are sold in powder or capsule form. That’s because these forms are what we’ve found to be truly reliable and consistent in delivering the healthy bacteria that our customers want.
In looking at whether we could feel good about delivering a kids’ probiotic in chewable form, our research told us not to. While kids like the idea of a chewable supplement, we wanted to ensure that they were getting the healthy bacteria they need - not just an easy chewable format. We found that delivering kids’ probiotics in a powder was absolutely the best choice.
Not only do our powder probiotics allow us to guarantee the potency of each strain of bacteria through the expiration date, but they also give you control over what you’re giving to your kids. In powder form, you have the ability to give each child more or less of any probiotic, to see what suits them best. You can decrease the amount on certain days, you can increase the amount as they get older… the power lies with you. With a chewable form, you do not have nearly as much control. Instead of taking one tablet you can either double the dose or skip a dose. Those choices are not particularly robust.
Powder probiotics also allow you to give the probiotics however is easiest for your family. When you’re giving probiotics to an infant, you can mix them into some breastmilk or formula. For kids, you can add probiotics to a non-acidic juice, or you can mix the powder into yogurt or applesauce. In many ways that’s even easier than handing a kid a chewable probiotic.
Understanding that a probiotic being chewable is not the primary focus, we will tell you what we believe is the best probiotic for infants and young children: Natren’s Life Start. Each serving of this probiotic gives your child a minimum of 1 billion colony forming units of Bifidobacterium infantis, NLS super strain. Life Start is able to support the gastrointestinal system and a healthy digestive environment. For babies, this is particularly important because those born by C-section, and those who are not breastfed, are at a higher risk of not getting a variety of the healthy bacteria their bodies need.
Kids who are 8 years or older can benefit from Natren’s Healthy Start System as well. Healthy Start System provides you with 3 of Natren’s most popular precision probiotics that you can mix and match to give your whole family the best combination for their own needs. The beneficial bacteria in the Healthy Start System can support the digestion of carbs, protein, and dairy; help optimize digestion; support colon function; and aid in the production of B vitamins.
Our belief is when you look for the ‘best’ chewable probiotics for kids, you’re not finding the best probiotic for kids. Instead, choose the best quality kids’ probiotic, which comes from Natren. They are in powder form which allows us to truly guarantee the potency of every strain of good bacteria through the expiration date. They also allow you to give the right amount to each member of your family, and they let you give the probiotics in ways that work well for your kids’ routines, whether that’s mixed into juice, yogurt, or applesauce.
You can learn more about Natren’s recommendations for probiotics for babies, toddlers, and children by visiting the children’s section at natren.com.