The gut is where we absorb a lot of nutrients. It’s also where most of our immune system resides. For children, maintaining gut health and a diverse microbiome is important. This will allow their immune system to develop properly and fight off infections. They’ll grow, thrive and even boost their liver function with a healthy gut.
A well-rounded and healthy diet is a great way to promote gut health in children as young as two. However, it’s difficult to fit all of the recommended nutrients into a two-year-old's diet every single day. Multivitamins can fill in some of those gaps, but there are products like probiotics that target gut health specifically.
I want to take a look at the benefits of probiotics for two years olds in this article. I’ll also cover some of the best products on the market, ways to naturally incorporate probiotics into the diet and what you should look for in a probiotic brand for children. Let’s get started.
Can a 2 Year Old Take Probiotics?
The great thing about probiotics is that they may or may not be beneficial in a certain child, however they don’t typically cause any kind of harm to a child. Because of this, a lot of parents choose to give their small children probiotics to boost immune function and address digestive issues. It’s a good idea to speak with your child’s pediatrician before giving them any kind of supplement, but you should expect to be given the all-clear as long as your child is healthy and able to tolerate a supplement of this type.
Are They Safe for Toddlers (Ages 2+)?
Many reputable probiotic brands have created products specifically intended for children ages two and up. The specific strains of probiotics used are beneficial for young children, and the doses included work well for that age group. If you are an adult taking probiotics, you’re probably taking a higher dosed product that’s quite different than what toddlers receive. In fact, many baby formulas and toddler supplemental beverages contain probiotics because of how healthy they are and their ability to increase nutrient absorption.
The Best Probiotics for 2 Year Olds and Up
There are quite a bit of probiotic supplements available for children ages two and up. Let’s look at some of the ones that I’ve come across over the years that I would highly recommend to parents looking shopping around.
#1. Hiya Kids Daily Probiotic
Hiya Health’s Kids Daily Probiotic supplement has been formulated by pediatricians to specifically address the needs of this age group. Over 10 billion live cultures are included, providing exceptional support for your child’s immune system, gut health and digestive system. It can also help with nutrient absorption so your child will grow and thrive as they get older.
Hiya will ship your 30-day supply of product each month in a refillable pouch. Your first purchase comes in a refillable glass bottle that is eco-friendly. They even include stickers so your child can decorate and personalize their bottle. Hiya Health’s Kids Daily Probiotic is made without the use of added sugar and is recommended for children ages two and up.
- You receive 50 percent off of your first order from Hiya
- Refillable bottle reduces waste and saves you money
- You can purchase products based on how many children you’re shopping for
- Zero sugar
- Gluten free and dairy free
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Contains non-organic natural flavors
#2. 1st Phorm Opti-Kids Probiotic Formula
Fighting with your toddler to eat their fruits and vegetables can be quite a chore. There are some days when you just don’t feel like fighting the battle. If you have a picky eater but want to make sure they’re able to utilize the nutrients they eat each day and also maintain a diverse microbiome, I recommend checking out 1st Phorm’s Opti-Kids Probiotic Formula. It not only contains probiotics, but it also includes digestive enzymes, vegetables, fruits and organic grasses. This is one of the most versatile supplements I’ve come across.
The taste of Opti-Kids Probiotic Formula from 1st Phorm is delicious. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting your child to consume them each day. The added nutrients prevent you from feeling bad when your child doesn’t eat well on any given day. It also contains whey protein to fill in nutritional gaps. Your child will still experience normal growth rate, maintain a healthy weight and have plenty of energy to get through a busy day thanks to this versatile formula from 1st Phorm.
- Tastes great. It resembles chocolate milk.
- Contains whey protein
- Packed with probiotics, vitamins and nutrients
- -Contains amino acids as essential building blocks of health
- This product periodically sells out on the 1st Phorm website (It was sold out at the point of publishing this article)
#3. Biomeology Infant and Toddler Probiotics
If the formula that your infant or toddler is consuming doesn’t contain probiotics or you’re breastfeeding and want to make sure they’re getting this component of nutrition, you can check out Biomeology’s Infant and Toddler Probiotics. This product contains thoroughly studied symbiotic probiotics to support the baby's immune system. It’s especially beneficial if you have a child that experiences frequent reflux, colic, diarrhea, etc. Probiotics are often what these little ones need in order to balance their gut and help them become more regular (and comfortable).
Did you know that the first 1,000 days of your child’s development is the most important time for gut health formation? This is something they will carry with them for the rest of their life, so it’s worth considering adding a probiotic to their routine. This specific product contains 12 of the most beneficial live probiotic strains to populate their microbiome.
- Contains 12 common probiotic strains
- Clinically studied
- Non-GMO and made in the USA
- Contains organic ingredients
- Easy to mix into breast milk, formula, etc.
- Comes in the form of a capsule that should be opened and mixed with a liquid. Not the most convenient method.
#4. Silver Fern Brand Kids Probiotic Supplement
Silver Fern has specially formulated this probiotic product with children’s gut health in mind. They have used proven strains at specific dosages to protect a young one’s microbiome. This will set them up for optimal health throughout their life while also boosting their immune system function when they’re younger. We all know how often kids can pick up illnesses at school, daycare, etc. This probiotic supplement can ensure they fight those germs off quickly.
The DNA verified strains of bacteria that are used in this product include:
- Bacillus Coagulans– Produces L+ lactic acid, boosts immune support and improves GI symptoms like gas and bloating
- Bacillus Clausii– Supportive to the immune system and improves diarrhea and bacterial imbalances
- Bacillus Subtilis HU58– Increases the production of Nattokinase and Vitamin K2 while increasing the production of short-chain fatty acids in the body
- Chewable tablet
- Affordable price point
- Contains three billion CFUs
- DNA verified
- Contains stevia leaf extract as the sweetener
#5. Jettie Melty Stix Probiotics for Kids
Jetson Health has created this unique probiotic supplement that is packed with five different probiotic strains that improve digestive health and immunity. Vitamin D is also included in Jettie Melty Stix Probiotics for Kids for brain health, bone health and even the health of your teeth. With a pleasant natural orange flavor, you’ll have no trouble getting your child to take this supplement each day. It comes in a powder form so they can eat it like sugary candy or mix it right into a beverage or glass of water.
Jettie Melty Stix Probiotics for Kids was created by a pediatrician in the hopes of improving kid’s gut health and overall health. Dr. Lisa Stern knew that she wanted the five most important probiotic strains included, but vitamin D was also important to her because of how essential it is to a child’s growth and development. Not to mention, most children and adults are deficient in vitamin D.
- Boosts immunity and brain development
- Contains vitamin D
- Includes five key strains of probiotics
- Comes in convenient tubes that can be mixed into liquid or eaten right out of the package
- Increases digestive and respiratory health
- Contains ‘Other natural flavors’ which aren’t specified
#6. CalmCo Probiotic Drops for Infants and Children
CalmCo’s Probiotic Drops for Infants and Children is a supplement designed to be taken daily in order to support the gut health and development of infants and small children. It contains clinically proven strains (five in total) of bacteria that provide your child with 1.5 billion CFUs per serving. Two of the strains included have been proven to help with colic and similar digestive issues that many children experience during their formative years.
Probiotic Drops for Infant and Children from CalmCo are very safe and gentle, allowing you to trust this product for your little ones. It doesn’t contain anything artificial and is free from sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy and soy. It’s vegan friendly.
- Vegan friendly
- Designed for infants as well as toddlers
- Gentle on the GI tract
- Provides 1.5 Billion CFUs per serving
- Guaranteed live cultures
- Unflavored, so it will need to be mixed into some sort of food or beverage
#7. Mommy’s Bliss Kids Probiotic Ages 2 Years +
Mommy’s Bliss Kids Probiotic is designed for children ages two and up. It contains not only a probiotic but a prebiotic as well. One billion probiotic cells are included in each gummy to promote regularity and overall gut health. One gummy is one serving and only contains one gram of sugar. It’s a quick and simple way to boost your child’s microbiome diversity without the need for any artificial ingredients or additives.
This product has been designed to be vegan-friendly and it does not contain any of the major eight allergens. It’s hard to find safe products on the market for allergy kids, so I appreciate this brand manufacturing their product this way. It won’t take long at all before you see an improvement in your child’s immune function, overall health and even quality of sleep.
- Supports digestive health, immunity, sleep, & wellness
- Vegan friendly
- Free of all eight major allergens
- Contains 1 billion cells of probiotic LactoSpore per gummy
- Only one gram of sugar in each serving
- Contains unspecified natural flavoring
Buying Guide for Finding a Probiotic for 2 Years+
I put together a buying guide for those who might not know what to look for before purchasing a probiotic for your 2 year old.
What to Look For
If you’re still in need of assistance when it comes to choosing a probiotic for your child that is two or up, here is my buying guide that includes helpful tips on what to look for in a supplement.
Don’t fall for marketing ploys from a brand that isn’t transparent about how they make their products, where they’re made and what they are made from. A reputable company will provide you with all of this information right upfront before you even purchase the product. You should know what your money is going towards.
Quality of Ingredients
The ingredients that are used for any kind of supplement are extremely important. In order to get the best results, you want to put high quality ingredients into your child’s body. Always look into what ingredients are included as well as how they are sourced and used.
Third-Party Tested for Safety
Third-party testing relies on the services of another company to check a product for things like safety, purity and contamination. This is a very important feature to look for, as most brands are using this process for their supplements.
A Brand That Specializes In Kids Health
You’ll want to stick with a brand of probiotics that sells products for children specifically. If they specialize in kid’s health, then you know that your child is getting a properly formulated product that is going to benefit them and be safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about a children’s probiotic supplement? Here are some answers that should help.
Don’t forget that probiotics are included naturally in foods like yogurt and fermented products. Unfortunately, most children don’t consume enough of them as part of their diet. That’s why probiotic supplements exist. They may not be necessary for your child, but they can absolutely help create a more diverse microbiome in the gut, boost brain health and increase immune function.
A child can take a probiotic as early as three months old, so a toddler can take a supplement designed for their age group whenever the parent feels necessary. You can have them take it with food and make sure they drink enough water with it.
You can talk to your child’s pediatrician to see what they think about giving your child a probiotic, but you should be considering this type of supplement if they are having GI issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation on a regular basis.
Adding beneficial bacteria to your child’s gut will help them become more regular in addition to a number of other health benefits.
The Bottom Line
Up until this point in time you may not have considered giving your child a probiotic supplement, even though you know they are very helpful for adults. Hopefully this article has shed some light on the numerous benefits of giving a two year old (as well as infant or toddler) a probiotic supplement on a regular basis. It will not only help their development, but it helps them feel better and stay healthier throughout the cold and flu season.
Tips for Success from the Nutritionist
Looking for some tips to increase your child’s probiotic consumption naturally? Here are some tips for success.
What foods have a lot of probiotics?
Fermented foods contain a lot of probiotics. This includes foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and tempeh. Yogurt is another food that contains probiotics and usually contains additional vitamin D as well.
Do vegetables contain probiotics?
Vegetables are a healthy source of prebiotics (as well as fiber). Add as many as you can into your child’s diet, such as artichokes, asparagus and broccoli.