What does it mean to have a healthy toddler? There are so many things to consider. If you’re a parent of a toddler, you’re likely fighting battles ranging from why chicken nuggets are not a vegetable, why it’s important to sleep enough, and why jumping down a full set of stairs is dangerous - even when it sounds like fun. We appreciate and understand all the challenges of trying to keep a toddler healthy. The ages from 1 - 3 years old are very important for the growth of your child. At Natren, we can’t make parenting a young child easy, but we can give you the best probiotic for toddlers - which means one less thing to worry about in your busy day.
When your child was an infant, you likely saw a huge amount of physical growth. During the first year of life, the height and weight of a baby change in a staggering way. Nutrients during that time come primarily from breastmilk or formula. However, during the toddler years you’ll likely notice that your child doesn’t physically grow as fast as they did during the first year.
From ages 1 - 2, toddlers gain around 5 pounds on average. This is a lot less than the 15 pounds that many babies gain before the age of 1. However, this doesn’t mean your toddler isn’t growing as much - they’re just growing in other ways. For instance, during the toddler ages, your child’s language, motor functions, and intellectual growth are moving at a very fast pace. These types of growth need good nutritional support, just like growing taller does.
Many parents have ideal visions of introducing their toddler to a wide variety of vegetables, having them snack on plain yogurt, hummus, and almonds, and avoiding all sweets. While some moms and dads find that they ‘win the toddler lottery’ with a young child who’s more than happy to eat a well-rounded diet, that’s not the reality for most. If you’re worried that your toddler’s insistence on liking only 3 foods is stunting their growth, don’t worry too much. Even with a picky eater, there are steps you can take to optimize their health:
If you’ve heard of adults taking probiotics, you may wonder if your toddler is old enough to take these supplements as well. The answer is that toddlers are absolutely not too young to be taking probiotics. In fact, during birth, babies who are born vaginally get a healthy dose of good bacteria from the birth canal. Babies who are breastfed also get good bacteria from their mother’s milk. For those babies who are born by C-section and/or do not get breast milk, Natren has a probiotic they can take from day 1, to boost their healthy bacteria. Many of our customers continue their infants on our probiotics through their childhood, supporting their kids’ health at every stage.
First, we want to clarify that a young child would not necessarily benefit from any probiotics, but could see benefit when getting the best probiotics for toddlers. Many probiotic companies focus more on marketing than on the quality of their product. If you give your toddler probiotics that are low quality, full of dead bacteria, or that are not manufactured with the highest safety standards, you may be risking your child’s health more than supporting it.
If a toddler is given a high quality probiotic like Natren’s Life Start, they can benefit in several ways. Probiotics for toddlers can help support a healthy digestive system as a whole. As most parents know, a healthy digestive system plays a key part in a child’s happiness and well-being. Digestive issues are no fun for anyone!
Diarrhea is a common ailment in children, and it can be uncomfortable as well as dangerous to their health. Diarrhea regularly results in dehydration, and severe diarrhea and dehydration can be life threatening. Taking a high quality probiotic may help alleviate the symptoms associated with this digestive affliction.
While you can take steps to protect your child from digestive issues, there are no guaranteed ways to keep these troubles at bay. Probiotics may help support digestive health, which is why we recommend that you do not wait for your toddler to have tummy troubles before starting a probiotic. Instead, use a good quality probiotic as part of your ongoing healthy routine with your children.
Not only can a probiotic support healthy digestion, but it can also support a strong immune system. This is because the digestive system is the center of the immune system - in both children and adults. When you populate the digestive tract with healthy bacteria, this leaves far less room for the ‘bad’ bacteria to thrive. The good bacteria are able to act like a defense mechanism, promoting a strong immune system, which can help support your toddler’s overall health.
Through the infant and toddler stage, the #1 probiotic is Natren’s Life Start. Life Start can be given to babies from day 1. It contains Bifidobacterium infantis, which is the best bacteria to support the health of babies and toddlers. Not only is Life Start a great quality probiotic, but it is also easy to give to your toddler. No pills to swallow! Our Life Start comes in a powder form, which many parents mix into milk, yogurt, or applesauce.
Natren knows that your family’s health could not be more important to you. When it comes to supporting the health of your entire family, from newborns to grandparents, Natren has the products you can trust. To learn more about our probiotics, and those that are best for your toddler, visit our website at natren.com.