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Can Toddlers Take Prebiotics?

Published November 19, 2023

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As parents, ensuring the health of our toddlers is a top priority. One of the foundations to a healthy and happier kiddo is good gut health. Prebiotics can contribute to better digestion, but have you ever wondered if your toddler can take prebiotics? In this blog post, we'll review the role of prebiotics in toddler nutrition and what the current studies tell us about the safety of prebiotics for toddlers and kids.

Gut Health in Toddlers

Toddlers' digestive systems are still developing, and establishing a healthy balance of gut bacteria is essential for their overall well-being. A balanced gut microbiota in toddlers is important for optimal nutrient absorption and immune system development.

Prebiotics for Toddlers

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that serve as food for the beneficial bacteria residing in the gut. These good gut bacteria, known as probiotics, play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system for gut health, supporting immune function, and even influencing aspects of mental health [1].

Benefits of Prebiotics for Toddlers

Prebiotics can provide toddlers with several health benefits including:

  • Immune Support. Studies suggest that prebiotics can contribute to a healthier immune system by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. For toddlers, whose immune systems are still maturing, this can be particularly beneficial in helping them ward off common illnesses [3].

  • Digestive Comfort. For toddlers that are experiencing digestive discomfort including constipation or irregular bowel movements, prebiotics can provide relief by promoting regular bowel movements and softer stools [2].

  • Enhancing Nutrient Absorption. A balanced gut microbiome is linked to improved nutrient absorption. Studies suggest prebiotics may enhance the absorption of essential nutrients, supporting the overall growth and development of toddlers [4]

Choosing the Right Prebiotics: Are Prebiotics Safe for my Toddler?

Prebiotic fiber can be naturally found in foods like bananas, artichokes, onions, and berries. However, for added convenience and precision in dosage, prebiotic supplements such as Begin Health’s Growing Up Prebiotics are formulated to be used to support long-term gut health in kiddos ages 1 year and up. Prebiotic supplements that contain both chicory root fiber and HMO’s can support regularity and happier poops in toddlers and kids [2].

Summary: Yes, toddlers can take prebiotics for several health benefits. By prioritizing the health of your toddler's gut microbiome, you're creating the foundation for a resilient immune system and overall well-being. Research reveals the benefits of prebiotics in toddlers include supporting immune function, promoting digestive comfort, and enhancing nutrient absorption. This makes prebiotics a valuable addition to a toddler's diet. As with any dietary supplement, it's advisable to consult with a pediatrician or a Registered Dietitian before introducing prebiotics to your toddler's routine.


[1] Carabotti M, Scirocco A, Maselli MA, Severi C. The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems. Ann Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr-Jun;28(2):203-209. PMID: 25830558; PMCID: PMC4367209.

[2] Closa-Monasterolo, R., Ferré, N., Castillejo-DeVillasante, G., Luque, V., Gispert-Llauradó, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Theis, S., & Escribano, J. (2016). The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 68(5), 587–594.

[3] Pujari R, Banerjee G. Impact of prebiotics on immune response: from the bench to the clinic. Immunol Cell Biol. 2021 Mar;99(3):255-273. doi: 10.1111/imcb.12409. Epub 2020 Nov 2. PMID: 32996638.

[4] Sheridan PO, Bindels LB, Saulnier DM, Reid G, Nova E, Holmgren K, O'Toole PW, Bunn J, Delzenne N, Scott KP. Can prebiotics and probiotics improve therapeutic outcomes for undernourished individuals? Gut Microbes. 2014 Jan-Feb;5(1):74-82. doi: 10.4161/gmic.27252. Epub 2013 Dec 16. PMID: 24637591; PMCID: PMC4049942.

May Zhu, RDN

May Zhu, RDN

May is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition expert at Begin Health.