As your toddler grows, paying attention to their nutritional needs and making sure they have a balanced diet is important so they can grow strong and healthy. Part of a healthy diet for any toddler are foods that contain prebiotics which help improve your toddler’s gut health. You can actively include prebiotics in his or her diet to promote a healthy body and digestive system.
What are Prebiotics?
Our bodies naturally have good bacteria (probiotics) which serve an important role in regulating both gut and immune health1. While probiotics are important, so are prebiotics, which are fibres that function as the ‘food’ for these beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics encourage the growth and activity of probiotics in the gut. Not only do prebiotics help in promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, they also help in reducing the numbers of harmful bacteria in the gut. They are present in high-fibre foods such as whole grains and leafy greens2.
Prebiotics vs. Probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics both help ensure your gut remains in pristine condition through very different ways3.
Prebiotics are dietary fibres that your body is not able to digest and work as a source of food for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Seeing as they are not digestible, prebiotics are channeled to the lower digestive tract. This is where they are function as food to help the healthy bacteria grow3.
On the other hand, probiotics consist of live yeasts and good bacteria that dwell in your body to help keep your digestive health in check. Probiotics can be taken in supplement form or acquired through food3. Both prebiotics and probiotics function in different ways but are equally important in maintaining a healthy gut by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing the number of harmful bacteria.
Why Do Toddlers Need Prebiotics?
Here are the reasons why your toddler needs prebiotics in their diet:
Help other organs
When the intestinal microbiota feed on prebiotics, there is production of short-chain fatty acids, which confer various beneficial effects in the body3.
Prebiotic fermentation in the gut also produces peptidoglycan, which can help the immune system fight pathogens3.
Strengthen gut bacteria population
Prebiotics can further improve immunity by helping build up the gut’s protective microorganisms3.
More nutritious foods
Prebiotics are found in fruits and vegetables, which have additional nutritional benefits for the body5. Alternative healthy options include fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi6.
Where to Find Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are commonly found in high-fibre solid foods which can be fed to toddlers. Examples of foods that contains prebiotics are:
In conclusion, the intake of more foods containing prebiotics will support the gut and immune health of your child - ensuring he or she grows up healthy and happy.
Get your free sample of Enfagrow A+ Stage 3 which contain prebiotics (GOS) that promote the growth of good Bifidus bacteria to help maintain a healthy digestive system, and dietary fibres (PDX) that aid in digestive system functions.
Dr. Raymond Choy Wai Mun
MBChB (UK), Aviation Medicine (Singapore)
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2. What are probiotics and prebiotics? (2020) Retrieved August 24, 2020 from:
3. Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications (March 2019). Retrieved October 21, 2020 from:
4. Prebiotics are an easy way to prime kids’ immune systems to fight viruses (2017) Retrieved August 24, 2020 from:
5. Prebiotics, probiotics and your health (March 2018). Retrieved October 21, 2020 from:
6. Prebiotics vs. Probiotics: What’s the Difference? (March 2020). Retrieved October 21, 2020 from: