Back-to-School: Why Friendly Bacteria Are Vital for Your Child’s Health


With the beginning of a new school year, one often-overlooked aspect of back-to-school health is the role of friendly bacteria, commonly known as probiotics. These tiny organisms play a significant role in supporting your child’s well-being, especially when faced with the challenges of school life.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why friendly bacteria are essential for your child’s back-to-school health.

What Are Friendly Bacteria?

Friendly bacteria are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Our bodies are home to trillions of these microorganisms, and they’re particularly abundant in the gut. Friendly bacteria are often referred to as “probiotics ” because they help maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiome.

The Gut-Brain Connection

One of the most fascinating aspects of probiotics is their influence on the gut-brain connection. Emerging research regularly suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may have a profound impact on mental health and cognitive function. Considering the academic and social pressures that students face, this connection is particularly relevant during the school year.

Back-to-School: Why Friendly Bacteria Are Vital for Your Child's Health - colourful crayons

Back-to-School: Why Friendly Bacteria Are Vital for Your Child’s Health

No.1 – Improved Mood and Reduced Stress

Friendly bacteria in the gut help to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These play a crucial role in regulating mood and reducing stress. A balanced gut microbiome may help your child manage the emotional ups and downs of school life more effectively.
Of course, this goes hand in hand with other supportive methods such as a balanced diet, adequate sleep and stress relieving techniques such as deep breathing etc.

No.2 – Enhanced Cognitive Function

A healthy gut is associated with improved cognitive function, including better concentration and memory. Quite the game-changer, especially when your child is tackling challenging subjects or preparing for exams.

No.3 – Immune Support

One thing that many people are now becoming more aware of is the positive effects that friendly bacteria have on our immune systems. Unsurprisingly, schools tend to be quite the breeding ground for germs, and kids are often exposed to various illnesses.

Friendly bacteria stimulate the immune system, helping it respond effectively to threats.
A robust immune system is essential for staying healthy during the school year.
Friendly bacteria play a vital role in supporting the immune system, helping your child fend off infections and recover faster if and when they do get sick.

No.4 – Reinforcing the Gut Barrier

Friendly bacteria also help to maintain the integrity of the gut barrier, preventing harmful pathogens from entering the bloodstream. This first line of defense is crucial for overall health.

No. 5 – Alleviating Digestive Issues

The stress of school, changes in routine, and cafeteria food can sometimes upset a child’s digestive system. Enter the friendly bacteria! They help to aid digestion by promoting the balance of beneficial gut bacteria and reducing digestive discomfort.

They help to alleviate common digestive issues like gas, bloating, and constipation, ensuring that your child is comfortable and focused in class.

How to Incorporate Friendly Bacteria

Boost your child’s back-to-school health by incorporating friendly bacteria into their daily routine:

Friendly Bacteria Supplements

Back-to-School: Why Friendly Bacteria Are Vital for Your Child's Health Optibac babies and children supplement

Optibac for Babies and Children

Key Benefits

Optibac for Babies and Children – this supplement is especially formulated for babies, toddlers and children up to 12 years old.

  • Contains three high-quality friendly bacteria strains scientifically trialled in thousands of infants, toddlers, and children, including L. rhamnosus GG, the most scientifically studied strain in the world
  • Expertly formulated live cultures for children
    This supplement is suitable for use from birth to 12 years, with strains of friendly bacteria natural to a child’s gut
  • Scientifically proven to survive stomach acidity and reach the gut alive
  • Contains FOS and Vitamin D3 
    This supplement contains added Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) fibres to increase natural gut bacteria and Vitamin D3 to maintain immune health
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free, and absolutely no added sugars, artificial flavours or colours
  • Easy to use 
    Comes in a flavourless powder format that is easily taken alone or mixed into cool, non-acidic food or drinks. No refrigeration necessary
Optibac strawberry kids gummies

Optibac Kids Strawberry Gummies

Key Benefits

Optibac Kids Strawbery Gummies – this supplement contains live cultures that are especially beneficial for kids aged 3 years and over. These soft, chewable fruit gummies provide high-quality friendly bacteria, Vitamin D and Calcium in a delicious format. 

  • Includes Vitamin D and Calcium, plus live cultures and FOS fibres making it an all in one easy-to-take daily supplement especially formulated for kids aged 3+
  • Made purely from a base of fruit (juices/purees) and pectin (from apple/citrus), with absolutely no hidden nasties; no additives or preservatives, no sugar syrups or artificial colourings!
  • Fruity in flavour and extensively taste-tested by children. These Kids Gummies will win over even the fussiest child!
  • No added sugar or sweeteners. The sweetness in these gummies comes from the natural fruit sugars.
  • Contains friendly bacteria strain Bacillus coagulans Unique IS-2, one of the most researched strains of Bacillus for children
  • A vegan alternative to dairy-based yoghurts and yogurt drinks and other gummies that use gelatine (from animal sources).

We stock more friendly bacteria-containing supplements here online and instore.

back to school - eat friendly bacteria rich foods like yoghurt

Friendly Bacteria-Rich Foods

If you’ve been here a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of naturally fermented, friendly bacteria-rich foods. These include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, lacto-fermented veggies and more!
We stock a whole bunch in-store in the fridge, so go check it out when you’re there : )
I’ve written a few posts covering them in more detail so I’ll link them below:

Prebiotic Foods

Prebiotics are a source of food for friendly bacteria and help them grow, multiply and survive in the gut. Encourage the consumption of prebiotic-rich foods like bananas, garlic, onions, and asparagus.

back to school - colourful pencils

Here are some more Back to School related blog posts that may interest you:

A Healthy Start to the School Year

Friendly bacteria are like silent superheroes, working behind the scenes to support your child’s health and well-being. By prioritizing probiotics and a balanced gut microbiome, you can give your child the best possible start to the school year.

Remember that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management also contribute to overall well-being, so encourage a holistic approach to health for your child.

With a strong foundation of good health, your child can confidently tackle the challenges and adventures that the new school year brings.

Emily Nöth

Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.

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*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication

Please note that it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting any new supplements, especially if you have specific health concerns or are taking medications