We hear about germs and bacteria. We warn our children to wash their hands because of harmful bacteria. We read about strange cases in the news about some foreign bacteria that infected some unsuspecting victim and his life was turned upside down. But, the truth about bacteria is that they are not all bad. Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t cozy up to anything that starts with Staphylococcus! But there are a lot of bacteria around us, on us, INSIDE of us, that are actually really helpful – dare I say, necessary.
Hear me out. We actually have bacteria inside our intestines and stomach that help keep us with our normal bodily functions and digestion. Have you ever read the “warnings” section of your antibiotic medication? Here’s a secret, it says it might cause diarrhea. Well, the reason why is because antibiotics help fight infection caused and some innocent bystanders are the good bacteria found in your gut. Without their presence to help keep you regular you become, well, irregular.
This is especially important for little children. If you have a toddler in school or daycare, you may have had weekly visits with the pediatrician. Green snot, ear infections, sinus infections, these may be a more common occurrence that you care to admit. As these little ones are building a healthy immune system, their digestive tracts may be suffering, which, studies have shown, may actually affect their overall immune system when the “good” bacteria starts being eliminated by the antibiotics.
Lucky for you, probiotics can be found in food. It may be odd to think that we might be eating bacteria but bacteria can actually be used in the process of making food like yogurt. You may have heard of Lactobacillus, one of the more famous bacteria. This is often found in yogurt and can really help get your child’s gut back on track. What happens if you’re a texture person who can’t stand yogurt or you have an aversion to dairy (that’s me!)? Well, you can actually purchase probiotics in a supplement form.
Gerber makes an excellent product that is safe for all ages called Gerber Soothe, which comes in liquid form and just requires a few drops in your child’s bottle. If your child is a little older, you can use Culturelle Kids! Packets that can be taken during the course of an antibiotic treatment or as a daily supplement as well. These quick dissolving pellets are flavorless and can even be added in pudding or applesauce. Maybe your kids are on to your tricks and won’t be fooled with the applesauce routine. That’s ok, there is a great brand called Rainbow Light that come in a gummy form. You’re already giving your kids Omega-3 gummies because you know about their benefit, they won’t mind taking this berry flavored one too. Stop by GoodPill to discuss which probiotic supplements are better for your family and make sure you’re doing everything you can to give your child a healthy immune system.