Getting Started with Begin
Welcome! This is the starting page for Begin Growing up Prebiotics. We’ve provided support to parents before and after starting Begin with their toddlers and kids and found having expert support means a more successful outcome for your little ones.
What Begin Prebiotics Do
Begin Growing up Prebiotics are formulated to help toddlers and kids’ developing gut microbiome by feeding the good bacteria in their gut.
In simplest terms, the gut microbiome, aka bacteria, viruses and fungi, are living organisms that are inside our intestines and on our skin. Begin prebiotics feed these living organisms with the unique blend of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) and fiber from chicory root inulin.
Research has shown that the gut microbiome plays a significant role in the development of the immune system, digestion, and production of some vitamins and proteins (Harvard).
The gut microbiome is also called the “second brain” as studies show the effect the gut has on mental health by controlling hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine that are responsible for “positive” emotions (JohnsHopkins).
Begin Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the gut. With the majority of the gut being established by age 3, building and supporting a diverse microbiome is an essential part of a healthy start in life.
Why Toddlers and Kids Can Benefit from Fiber
As a prebiotic supplement, Begin Growing up Prebiotics are designed to support your toddler and kids’ digestive health with softer and more regular stools!
Fiber is a crucial part of the diet and has many benefits aside from supporting healthy bowel habits. It also can help in regulating hunger by slowing digestion and playings a role in heart health. Fiber can be found in foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, seeds and wheat bran.
Most toddlers and kids, aged 1-5 need between 15 and 20 grams of fiber per day. Kids older than this need approximately 25 grams per day (DGA).
If your kid’s fiber intake is lacking, they may have hard or infrequent stools, also known as constipation. Defined properly, constipation is having less than 3 bowel movements per week, hard or lumpy stools, stools that are hard to pass or not feeling completely emptied (NIDDK).
Common foods eaten by toddlers and kids that are good fiber sources:
Pear 3 grams in 1 small fruit
Apple 2.5 grams in 1 small fruit
Chickpeas 7 grams in ½ cup
Oatmeal 8 grams in ½ cup
Sweet Potato 2.5 grams in ½ cup
Broccoli 2.5 grams in ½ cup
What do HMOs do?
Human Milk Oligosaccharides are the third most abundant component of human breast milk. They are an indigestible sugar that begin the colonization of the infant gut and impact immune system development.
HMOs are known to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and are now thought to have a role in reduction of food allergy symptoms (NIH).
2'-fucosyllactose HMO (2’-FL), the most prevalent HMO in breast milk, and the HMO in Begin Growing up Prebiotics, is known to protect against H. Pylori, e coli, campylobacter, rotavirus and norovirus infections (Frontiersin).
Research on the other potential benefits HMOs may have in our health has exploded in the past 5 years. HMOs are now being added to infant formulas and made into formulations for adults!
HMOs have anti-inflammatory effects in the intestine, improve the diversity of the microbes in the gut and can protect against illness making HMOs a powerful addition to the daily diet beyond the breastfeeding years.
Tips on Getting Started with Begin Growing up Prebiotics
Step 1 Start Slowly
Adding fiber into your toddler and kids’ diet must be done slowly, to avoid any unpleasant gas, bloating, or stomach discomfort.
Begin Health recommends starting with ½ of a packet of Begin Prebiotics per day over several days before increasing to a full dose for age
Step 2 Ensure Adequate Fluid
Mix each packet with 4-6 oz of fluids or foods such as yogurt. Water and milk are ideal, juice should be limited to no more than 4 oz per day.
Some juices like prune, apple and pear can assist with constipation by drawing water into the colon. (DGA)(Sorbitol)
Step 3 Adjust Dosing As Needed
Daily dose for toddlers and kids under 4 is 1 packet per day. As stated above, start with ½ a packet per day over several days before progressing to 1 full packet.
Daily dose for kids over 4 (and adults) is 2 packets per day. Again, start slowly.
You may find that your toddler or kid tolerates a dose that is different than recommended.
Some parent’s find that their toddlers and kids under 4 tolerate ½ packet per day better than 1 full packet and some kids over 4 tolerate 1 packet better than 2 packets. This is perfectly acceptable and you should adjust the dose based on your kids’ tolerance.
Begin Growing up Prebiotics can be a great way to incorporate a daily gut health positive routine for your little ones to feed the good gut bacteria and keep those bowels moving.
By: Kate Gerweck, MS, RD, LD
Kate Gerweck is a Registered Dietitian based out of Charleston, South Carolina. Kate Gerweck specializes in pediatric nutrition and kids' constipation.