Food & Drink Magazine

Prebiotics For Kids

By Thepickyeater @pickyeaterblog

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

If you are looking for the best prebiotics for kids, you have come to the right place! In this post you can learn about why prebiotics are important and beneficial to supporting a healthy gut microbiome. You will find a helpful breakdown of my top picks for pre and probiotics for kids, along with pros and cons, price comparison, and key ingredients! Keep reading to learn if prebiotics might be the right fit for your child, the role they play in supporting healthy children, and which brands to buy.

Prebiotics For Kids

The Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome is an ecosystem of microbes that reside in the digestive tract - including the stomach, small intestines, and large intestines. The microbiota consists of trillions of live microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites. These microbes may float around or attach to the gut lining, offering a critical and symbiotic relationship with their human host. This means that both the human and microorganism benefit!

One of their most important roles is to aid in digestive health. They break down food and turn the particles into nutrients for the body. This complex ecosystem also plays a key role in immune health, cognitive function, respiratory health, and heart health.

It is important to maintain a proper balance within the gut microbiome for optimal health, but many factors can impact this balance. Lack of food/ nutrition diversity, chronic stress, and antibiotic usage are just some of the reasons why your gut microbiome may fall out of balance. The imbalance can lead to the bad bacteria taking over, causing more susceptibility to illness, improper digestion, malabsorption of nutrients, and bowel issues.

What Are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are a special type of plant fiber that cannot be digested by the body. Instead, the fiber serves as food for beneficial bacteria, allowing them to grow and flourish within the gastrointestinal tract. Supporting the "good guys" can help maintain or bring the gut back to proper balance so that the body can function effectively. Gut health is so important for everyone, and young children are often overlooked. While some people will naturally get all the prebiotic fiber needed through their diet, others may benefit from adding in prebiotic dietary supplements!

How Are Prebiotics Different From Probiotics?

Probiotics are the live cultures of beneficial bacteria that serve to boost population in the gut. Many benefit from supplementing with probiotics while others already have a proper balance of this bacteria in their GI tract through a diverse and healthy diet. Prebiotics can often be confused as another type of live bacteria, but they are not! Prebiotics are simply a form of fiber, serving as the food for the "good guys" in the gut.

Why Do We Need Both?

Our body relies on beneficial bacteria, as they play a critical role in our digestion, immunity and more. While it is great to boost the body's population with the use of probiotics, they need prebiotic fiber in order to survive. If you or your child do not naturally get a lot of fiber in your diet, it is likely best to take a prebiotic supplement. Just as you require food, so do these strains of bacteria! We need both in order to maintain a healthy, balanced gut.

How Do I Know If My Child Needs A Prebiotic Supplement?

It is best to chat with your child's pediatrician before beginning your little one on a prebiotic supplement, but there are a few obvious indicators. If your kid is a picky or selective eater they are likely not consuming enough fiber on their own. Additionally, if your child has had to take a course of antibiotics, adding both prebiotics and probiotics can be a great way to successfully reintroduce healthy bacteria into their gut.

Other signs your child needs prebiotics include digestive issues, irregularity with bowel movements, and complaints about stomach aches. Your child should have well-formed stools on a daily basis, 1-3 times per day. There should not be any straining or discomfort when they go potty, and stool should be soft and smooth.

Best Prebiotics For Kids

What Customers Say:

Ingredients To Look For In Prebiotics For Kids

It is best to find a simple prebiotic with minimal ingredients! I love that Begin Health has just 2 ingredients - chicory root and human milk oligosaccharide! Other ingredients you can look for in a kid's prebiotic would be fiber sourced from artichoke. Hiya uses larch tree fiber, which is another good option. If you have irritable bowel syndrome opt for a prebiotic like galacto-oligosaccharides or partially hydrolysed guar gum for the best results. Aside from the actual prebiotic fiber, you preferably want to look for organic or non-gmo ingredients. The addition of fruits for natural flavor and coloring is great for gummies! For additional health benefits, you can look for supplements with added vitamins and minerals such as vitamin d and vitamin c.

Ingredients To Avoid

Avoid prebiotics that contain artificial sweeteners and added sugar. It really is unnecessary for a prebiotic, which can simply be just fiber alone in powder form! In addition, try to avoid artificial flavors and coloring, along with unnecessary filler ingredients. Begin Health and Hiya offer the best choices for a safe ingredient list, where you'll also avoid most food allergies.

What Are Good Food Sources Of Prebiotics For Kids?

In addition to supplementing, there are also foods containing prebiotic fiber that can be added to your child's diet. The top 5 prebiotic foods include onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, and leeks. These have the highest amount of prebiotics within them. However, there are other prebiotic foods that may be more kid-friendly such as bananas (ideally slightly green), potatoes, kiwi, oats, chicory root, and asparagus. Allow potatoes to cool first to form the resistant starch, and then they can be reheated.

Do Prebiotics Have Side Effects?

Side effects of prebiotics should not impact your child long term. Your child may initially experience some common issues such as mild abdominal pain from gas and bloating during the first week. This is normal when introducing new fiber supplements for toddlers and adults alike! It is recommended to start off with half a dose, and increase a little bit every few days. This will minimize any potential problematic symptoms and help your child's gut adjust to the additional fiber.

Who Should Not Take Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are not recommended for those with health conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or FODMAP sensitivities. In these cases, the use of both probiotics and prebiotics will not have the same beneficial effects, instead exacerbating the symptoms. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional for any medical advice.


Yes! It is actually best to take prebiotics every day to see results. If your child's diet is naturally lacking in these types of prebiotic fibers, using a daily supplement will surely keep those beneficial bacteria happy and thriving.


The prebiotics will begin to feed the healthy bacteria in your child's gut, allowing these organisms to grow and thrive. In turn, your child's system will begin to function more efficiently and effectively. You should see improved digestion and more regularity with bowel movements. Prebiotics for constipation in kids is generally a very effective solution! Prebiotics can also help your little one absorb nutrients better and promote a healthy immune system.


It depends, but many will notice a positive change right away! However, every child is different and their microbiome will vary. In some cases it can take weeks to see the full effects, but you should notice things are heading in the right direction after the first few servings.


You certainly can! Most often prebiotics and probiotic bacteria work really well together and complement one another. Many probiotics on the market even include prebiotics within the formula for added health benefits. In order to survive and thrive, live active cultures need prebiotic fiber. Taking them together increases the positive outcome for these colony-forming units. If you have any concerns or uncertainty, talk with your child's health care provider first.


While it is possible to consume too many prebiotics, generally there will not be any long term effects from doing so. You may experience bloating, gas, and diarrhea after taking too large a quantity of prebiotics. From there, you can reduce the dosage and should see a positive impact from the prebiotics. Keep in mind that when first introducing prebiotics for kids, there may be an adjustment period with bloating and gas. If this does not go away after a few days, you may need to try a smaller dose.

More Helpful Guides!

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this post to be a helpful tool for deciding if prebiotics are a good fit for your child. Overall, prebiotics in supplement form can be very beneficial for increasing a child's fiber intake and supporting a healthy gut.

I find that Begin Health offers the best prebiotic supplements on the market with their tasteless and textureless powder! You can conveniently add it to just about anything! If you are looking to have the added benefits of probiotics, I'd recommend combining Begin Health with Hiya as it is one of the best probiotic supplements for kids while also containing a little bit of prebiotic fiber.

Whatever direction you go, I hope you are able to find comfort for your little one's tummy, with regular bowel movements, better digestion, and proper nutrient absorption!

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog