"Why does my child need bacteria?" If this question crops up in your mind when you see products containing 'good bacteria' (known as 'probiotics'), rest assured that you're not alone. To get to the bottom of this mystery, we need to first understand what probiotics are. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 'probiotics' is defined as microorganisms that provide health benefits to the consumer when taken sufficiently. One common type of probiotics is the Lactobacillus found in lactic acid drinks (e.g. yogurt and cultured milk drink).
Parents often become quite concerned when your little one experiences stomach discomfort. Sensitive intestines are prone to diarrhoea, while inactive bowel movements can lead to constipation. These issues may arise because of a low probiotics level in your child's intestines.
There are actually a wide range of food products with added probiotics for children on the market for parents to choose from, including milk powder and lactic acid drinks. These stimulate probiotics growth in your child's intestines, inhibiting bad bacteria growth while enhancing bowel movements. Thus, they target both the diarrhoea and constipation issues that your child may be facing. In addition, probiotics can also boost your child's immune system. With sufficient probiotics intake, you will see improvements in problems such as skin irritation and stuffy nose in your child.
Note that most probiotics cannot survive high temperatures (> 40°C), so never overheat food products containing probiotics. Otherwise, their effectiveness will be greatly reduced.