Expanding the child’s diet is a slow, crucial moment that should be given special attention. New foods must be introduced at a certain age. It depends on the needs of the body and its ability to cope with the digestion and assimilation of new food.
Dairy products play an important role in a balanced diet. It is rich in enzymes, trace elements, acids, and vitamins. Yogurt is one of the favorite treats for many children. Let’s figure out how to properly introduce it into the child’s diet, when can babies have yogurt, and which yogurt is better to choose.
What is the nutritional value of yogurt?
Yogurt is a lactic acid product made from sourdough milk. This delicious invention has a high nutritional value for children. 100 grams of yogurt contains 12.29 grams of carbohydrates. This is a fairly energetically rich product that gives a surge of strength, vivacity, and satiety.
100 grams of yogurt contains an average of 63 calories. The product contains 3g of fat, 7.33g of protein, and 76.81g of water.
The total content of sugars is 12g. Cholesterol is 10 g. Fiber, trans fats, and starch should not be in the composition. 100g of yogurt contains 10% of the daily requirement of protein, 4% of fats, and 4% of carbohydrates. These are excellent properties to be part of a child’s proper nutrition. Good yogurt is a valuable nutritional component of a balanced diet.
Why is yogurt good for a child?
Eating yogurt has a large number of positive effects. They help children grow and develop without health problems. This is largely due to the chemical composition and properties of the bacteria contained in yogurt. Here is an example of the beneficial qualities of this fermented milk product:
Source of protein – Yogurt contains protein of high biological value as it is a dairy product. The growing body of a baby needs a lot of building material. Dairy products are given to children in addition to meat dishes, the protein of which is more accessible and easy to consume.
Vitamin composition – Yogurt is full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Among the water-soluble: almost all B vitamins. Of the fat-soluble: A, beta-carotene, E, and K. This fills all the necessary gaps in the baby’s diet and allows you to gradually reduce the consumption of mother’s milk or formula.
Good mineral composition – Yogurt is a good source of calcium. 100 g of the product contains 10% of the daily calcium requirement. It is a guarantee of healthy bones, teeth, and growth. The same dose of yogurt contains 17.5% of the daily intake of selenium and 15.6% of phosphorus. Among the useful minerals are zinc, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Lactic acid bacteria – Each type of yogurt will have its composition of beneficial bacteria. Almost everywhere there is Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. These are natural probiotics that help restore the intestinal microflora, improve digestion and maintain the immune properties of the body.
Stimulation of interferon production – Regular consumption of yogurt helps to increase interferon. This is a protein that is secreted by the body as a reaction to the invasion of viruses, bacteria, and low molecular weight compounds. Children get sick less and immunity is strengthened.
Diet product – Yogurt can be consumed even if the child is overweight. This sour-milk snack option will not bring in many calories and will not bring down a regimen diet. Good yogurt is low-fat, healthy, and very easy to digest.
At what age can you give yogurt to a baby?
It is better not to hurry with the introduction of dairy and sour milk products into the diet. AAP allows the use of yogurt from 6 months, but it is better to wait for its early introduction into the diet.
If the baby is bottle-fed, then you can start giving him yogurt from 8 months. Try to last up to 9 months while breastfeeding. Babies under 12 months old find it difficult to digest cow protein. Early consumption of dairy and sour milk products can be harmful.
After 1 year of life, there are no restrictions on yogurt. It can be eaten freely, excluding low-quality varieties with a large number of emulsifiers and taste stimulants. If the child loves yogurt, let him eat it with pleasure.
Can eat yogurt harm a baby?
Dairy products have practically no contraindications. Yogurt by itself cannot harm the baby. The main thing is to give it at the right time and monitor the quality. Here are some examples of rare but likely negative effects of yogurt:
Allergic reaction – Allergy to yogurt without additives is extremely rare. The cause of a rash or allergic colitis may be the complicated composition of the product: the addition of dyes, thickeners, flavors, and fruits. There may also be a reaction to cow’s milk protein.
Poisoning – Good yogurt does not have a long shelf life. It quickly disappears and becomes unusable. Parents should always check the product for freshness. No one excludes poisoning with sour-milk products. Choose only children’s types of yogurt with a short shelf life.
Increases diarrhea – Do not give milk products to your child if he has diarrhea. Dairy products tend to weaken the feces and remove them from the body. Wait out the period of diarrhea by identifying its causes. You can return yogurt to the diet only after stabilization and strengthening of the stool.
Increases acidity – Yogurt contains lactic acid. It tends to irritate the mucous surface of the digestive organs. It is better to suspend the use of yogurt if there are problems with acidity.
How to introduce yogurt into a child’s diet?
New foods for infants are best introduced early in the day. So you can track the likely reaction of the child’s body to the product.
Choose yogurt without additives or sweeteners. It is better to give preference to home options. Get your kid interested in a new product. Give no more than a teaspoon on the first day. Increase the dose every day if there is no negative response in the body (diarrhea, severe bloating, and anxiety).
When you fully introduce yogurt into your diet, you can diversify its supply. This is necessary so that the baby does not get bored with a new food product. You can grind fruits that are safe for the baby in it: a banana, an apple, or a pear to enhance the taste. It is allowed to gradually try to add strawberries or other berries to which there is no allergy. Use biscuits or cereal as a solid topping.
How much and how often can a baby eat yogurt?
A baby of 8-9 months is recommended to bring the dose of yogurt to 80-100 ml per day. The rate can be increased to 200 ml after 12 months. If during the day the child eats a different sour milk, then it is better to reduce the amount of yogurt.
Giving yogurt every day regularly is not necessary. Always consider the total amount of fermented milk and dairy products that are on the baby’s menu per day. The proportion of yogurt should cover the missing rate of calcium, trace elements, calories, and protein. You can’t have milk all day long.
Use dairy products as an afternoon snack. This is the best option for a light meal. Such a snack will give energy until dinner and fill the body with all the necessary nutrients.
What kind of yogurt is better not to give to the baby?
Stay vigilant when choosing industrial fermented milk products. Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks. Try to choose farm “live” products and not advertised brands while the child is small. The main criteria for bad yogurt:
Long shelf life – If the packaging says that the period is from 1 to 2 months, then it is better to bypass this type of yogurt. It has a lot of preservatives, antibiotics, and other unnecessary components that extend its shelf life. The optimal shelf life is no more than 14 days.
Composition with substitutes – It is better not to give your child yogurt that contains sugar substitutes, milk fat, and taste and smell imitators. Everything that acts as an unnatural stimulating and imitating component is excluded.
Not for children – If yogurt is in the general dairy section, then most likely it is not for children. Not all supermarkets share yogurts in this way, but if there is a department for baby food, then it is better to choose yogurt in it. Children’s fermented milk drink is more closely monitored and therefore safer.
High in fat – It is better to buy low-fat yogurt for children. The optimal fat content should remain within 2–4%. Start introducing yogurt with less fat and gradually increase the amount of fat. Too high-fat yogurt will increase the number of unsaturated fats in the diet. They increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, and excessive weight gain.
Full fat-free yogurt – Such a product is not even considered yogurt by nutritionists. It will contain a lot of chemical additives, starch, and other impurities to enhance palatability. The degreasing process is complex and involves chemical intervention in the technology.
Yogurt product – Many confuse it with yogurt or buy it being inattentive. This is less sour milk and not an entirely natural product in composition. It doesn’t have the right probiotics. It does not contain good proteins because it is subjected to strong heat treatment. There are a lot of unnecessary additives in this product.
Expiring – Never buy a child yogurt that has a couple of days or less left before the expiration date. The quality of storage of fermented milk products must be strict. Sometimes there are missing products even with a normal expiration date. Sour-milk drinks spoil instantly if there were violations in storage. Check yogurt for mold, taste, and smell before giving it to a child. Do not risk your child’s health if the appearance, taste, or smell is questionable.
When is the best time to delay the introduction of yogurt?
Do not chase the exact timing of the introduction of yogurt or other fermented milk products. Focus on your baby’s health. There are several options for situations in which it is worth slightly pushing back the first acquaintance with yogurt:
Suspicion of lactose deficiency – If the baby has difficulty digesting dairy products, you need to endure a certain period without them. Be sure to consult a gastroenterologist. He will accurately indicate the forbidden products. Yogurt will be on this list. It is better to postpone the time of its introduction into the diet.
Illness – Do not inject yogurt if the baby is sick with rotavirus or has a sore throat. Fermented milk products contain acid, which causes discomfort to the mucous membrane damaged by bacteria. Wait until the baby is fully recovered and only then start offering yogurt.
Vomiting or diarrhea – Refrain from eating yogurt if your child has these symptoms. It weakens and irritates the esophagus and intestines, which are already experiencing increased contractile stress. Treat the main symptoms and only then gradually offer yogurts that help restore the microflora.
Diathesis – Do not introduce new foods into the diet with severe diathesis. Start keeping a food diary. Write down what your baby’s skin reacts to. You can gradually try to introduce yogurt and other dairy products after the problem is eliminated and a balanced diet.