Adding Prebiotics to Your Child’s Diet

Frank W. Jackson, MD

July 10, 2013
Updated: May 8, 2018

More and more independent research demonstrates the value of adding prebiotics to a well-balanced diet. Can making prebiotics a regular part of your child’s diet set them up for a lifetime’s worth of healthy digestion and more?

Prebiotics and Infant Formula

Prebiotics for ChildrenFor many new parents, the first few months following birth pass by in a blissful — albeit sleep-deprived — state. They expect that the baby will eat, sleep, and meet milestones with ease. Unfortunately, many parents endure the opposite experience as they watch their new addition suffer from painful constipation, bloating, gassy cries, and an uncomfortable extended belly. For these parents, a remedy of oligofructose-enriched inulin (or Prebiotin prebiotic fiber) may be just what the doctor ordered.

A 2013 study at the Neonatal Unit at Hospital University in Tarragona, Spain concluded that infants who were fed a prebiotics-enriched formula developed a gastrointestinal bacterial makeup similar to their breastfed counterparts. Think that’s not a big deal? Think again: breastfed infants suffer from fewer infections, are less likely to become obese, and have fewer allergies.

Human Milk vs. Formula

Human milk naturally contains about 8 percent prebiotics, according to the study’s author, Dr. Ricardo Monasterolo, while old-fashioned formula does not; however, the prebiotics-infused infant formula the Spanish children consumed contained a comparable prebiotics supplement and produced a “safe and effective” result. The formula-fed children produced softer, more comfortable, and frequent stools—undoubtedly to the tremendous relief of their parents.

Dose for an Infant

Adjust the dosage for the size and weight of your infant, probably no more than a gram or so per day, but that is just a guided opinion.  Obviously we encourage you to make sure you are getting professional advice from your trusted physician advisor or pediatrician before deciding how much to use.

Continuing Prebiotics Through Early Childhood

You might be thinking, terrific, but my baby won’t be on formula forever! The good news is, research indicates that a prebiotic-supplemented milk product suitable for pre-school aged children boosts immunity. Researchers concluded that children ages 3-to-4 who consumed the prebiotic-infused milk product maintained better respiratory health than comparable healthy children who consumed only powdered cow’s milk.

The point? Although products such as Prebiotin are most frequently targeted toward adults, even young children can benefit from the incorporation of both inulin and oligofructose into their diets. Increasing numbers of studies indicate prebiotic fiber, which acts as a fertilizer to the good bacteria living in the lower gut, not only boosts immunity but also aids digestion, helps fight obesity, increases calcium absorption, and more. 

Prebiotin’s Pleasant Taste

The best part is, there is no strange texture or aftertaste to worry about with the Prebiotin formula! Prebiotin has a pleasantly sweet taste and easily mixes, so it is easy to add it to your children’s cereals, juices, milk, or even pancakes or waffles without your child ever noticing a difference!

Prebiotin prebiotic fiber is a 100 percent natural, plant-based, a full-spectrum supplement that can help you achieve optimal gut health. Explore the sound science behind Prebiotin, the most medically-researched prebiotic supplement on the market, and find out how you can improve your child’s overall wellness—starting now.

References:

Closa-Monasterolo R, Gispert-Llaurado M, Luque V, et al. Safety and efficacy of inulin and oligofructose supplementation in infant formula: results from a randomized clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition. 2013 Dec;32(6):918-27. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Firmansyah A, Chongviriyaphan N, Dillon DH, et al. Fructans in the first 1000 days of life and beyond, and for pregnancy. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;25(4):652-675. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.092016.02.

Hume MP, Nicolucci AC, Reimer RA. Prebiotic supplementation improves appetite control in children with overweight and obesity: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Apr;105(4):790-799. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140947. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Patel S & Goyal A. The current trends and future perspectives of prebiotics research: a review. 3 Biotech. 2012 Jun; 2(2): 115–125. Published online 2012, Jan 28. doi:  10.1007/s13205-012-0044-x

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