Daycare Germs: Probiotics to the Rescue

Daycare Germs: Probiotics to the Rescue

  • Kids' Health

  • By Vanessa Daigle, Nutritionist-speaker and content creator

    When children start daycare – if you have children of your own – you probably know the drill. Whether you’ve experienced it yourself or heard about it, you probably know how challenging the first few years of daycare can be, not to mention … viruses, microbes, and illnesses. Clearly, juggling baby symptoms, sleepless nights, and daycare absences is no easy feat for new parents. Why are children sick so often? Is it possible to have a positive influence on their immunity and prevent this from happening again and again? A deep dive into Baby’s immunity!

    When it comes to the immune system, the first thing that comes to mind is certainly the infamous intestinal microbiota.

    In fact, no less than 80% of children’s immune cells are found in the intestines!

    This is why a balanced flora is so important to the development of a healthy immune system. It’s important to remember that the development of the microbiota will be influenced by various factors, such as diet, childbirth method, breastfeeding, environment, contact with the outside world and with animals, and so on.

    The intestinal microbiota of a child is gradually built up over the first few years of life, before reaching maturity at the age of 2 or 3. As you can see, by the time he or she starts daycare, your little one’s immune system is immature, making him or her more prone to catching viruses.

    Babies are often sick; this is no doubt to be expected. Let’s not forget that as soon as they start daycare, babies will take great pleasure in sharing all their bacteria, by casually sharing toys from mouth to mouth. No escaping it, of course!

    That being said, even if the situation is probably normal, it doesn’t make it any easier to live with! Are there any solutions? For starters, integrating healthy lifestyle habits from an early age will certainly have a favorable impact on the development of the immune system. In a nutshell, diet influences the microbiota, and the microbiota in turn influences the immune system. So let’s focus on diet!

    Promoting microbial health through diet often involves eating plants. We could talk at length about the kind of diet that promotes the development of a good microbiota, but if you’d like to know more, I invite you to read the article. In the meantime, let’s keep in mind that as much fiber as possible will positively stimulate the development of the intestinal microbiota. Whenever possible, we try to include the following in your baby’s menu:

    • whole grains;
    • fruits and vegetables;
    • nuts and seeds;
    • legumes;
    • Etc.

    In addition to these, we can also put the odds in our favor by incorporating the daily intake of probiotics designed for children. In fact, Bio-K+ offers Bio-Kidz probiotics, containing three strains of bacteria recognized for their favorable effect on defending the body. Here they are…

    1. Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285®: the Offense! This strain of bacteria helps fight off “bad” bacteria.
    2. Lactobacillus casei LBC80R®: the Defense! This strain helps strengthen the intestinal barrier, optimizing immunity by preventing pathogens from making their way into the digestive system.
    3. Lactobacillus rhamnosus CLR2®: the Nurse! While the other two strains act preventively, Lactobacillus rhamnosus CLR2® helps to repair the damage caused by pathogens, so that the balance is restored as quickly as possible.

    As you can see, choosing the right probiotic is key to achieving favorable results. The synergy between the different strains is optimal. For this reason, if you choose to take a probiotic supplement to give yourself a boost, be sure to examine its composition. That way, you’ll know you’re doing the best you can to make Baby’s life – and your everyday life – easier!

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    Vanessa Daigle Nutritionist-speaker and content creator
    About the author
    Vanessa is a member of the “Ordre des diététistes - nutritionnistes du Québec”. She works daily in private clinics and as a self-employed communication specialist. As passionate about people as she is about nutrition, she takes great pleasure in sharing her knowledge on a larger scale, via her blog, her podcast Zone Grise, but also through radio shows and conferences.
    View all articles by Vanessa Daigle
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