Best Yogurt for babies: Let your baby growing up healthy
Did you think about the “first food” for your baby? I assume you did not think about “yogurt” at all. But, you can give yogurt to your baby as a first food. Are you wondering now? No, please do not get worried because I will try to make you understand that why you can do so. Today, my write up is based on the importance of feeding yogurt to your baby as well as when and how you can do that. Moreover, from the writings you can get an idea about when can babies eat yogurt. But, please remember that, all yogurt brands available in the market may not be the right option for your baby and you have to pick the best yogurt for babies. Along with that, Greek yogurt is also a nice choice as it has a lot of beneficial aspects. Therefore, you also can choose the best Greek yogurt for babies.
What pediatricians say?
You probably know that, you cannot feed any other food to your baby except your breast milk before your baby is 1 year old. Pediatricians also suggest that and they do not even approve direct feeding of cow milk for your baby before he/she is 1. Yes, it is true that you should not feed straight-up cow milk to your baby. But, although yogurt is a milk product, it is far apart from milk. I will show you that how yogurt is different from milk later on.
What is yogurt?
Yogurt is simply a milk product. More precisely, it is a fermented milk product. Although, cow’s milk is mostly used in producing yogurt, milk of sheep, goat, buffalo or camels are also used in making yogurt. It is produced through the fermentation of milk lactose, where the action is carried out by certain bacteria. “Lactobacillus” species of bacteria are the responsible microorganisms for this fermentation process. Fermentation of the lactose present in milk provides the yogurt with its characteristic flavor and texture. Generally, yogurt is sour tasted, but there are lots of brands of yogurt available in the market, which are of different tastes, flavors and colors.
There is a common concept of people about yogurt that yogurt is just a dessert and there is no nutrition. But, this is a wrong idea because yogurt contains much more than just a dessert.
Why yogurt is a healthy food item?
On my previous articles, I have talked a lot about the usefulness of consuming yogurt. Yogurt is not only a tasty food, but it has also several characteristic health impacts. Now I will show you that why yogurt is so healthy and why it is so important. So, let us move on.
- Nice source of probiotics: Yogurt contains a large amount of live cultures which are also called probiotics. Probiotics perform important functions in our gut health and they also facilitate the digestive system. Probiotics have lots more than that and you will find more details on…. “Yogurt for probiotics”.
- Contain essential nutrition: Yogurt contains several nutritional elements such as vitamins, minerals, calcium, potassium, proteins, etc. All of these are so important for our health. Therefore, yogurt can be considered as a good source of nutrition.
- Enhanced immune response and metabolic function: Yogurts help to boost up the immune response and it also improves the body’s metabolism. The calcium and protein of yogurt provide energy to the body. Consumption of low fat yogurt will also help to control your body mass because of the excellent metabolism.
- Treating infectious diseases: Infectious disease such as yeast infection can also be treated by yogurt treatment. This type of treatment can occur by consuming yogurt or by using yogurt externally directly. You can find more details on… “Yogurt for yeast infections”.
Yogurt can be a nice food choice for the patients of diabetes also. Scientists have come up with a hypothesis that, probiotics in yogurt may have an important role in the release of insulin hormone. For more details on diabetes and yogurt, please see… “Yogurt for diabetics”.
When can babies eat yogurt?
According to the opinions of pediatricians, there is no problem if you give yogurt to your baby beginning at six months of age.
Most of the pediatricians suggest starting your baby on yogurt on around 7 or 8 months of age. Moreover, they also suggest yogurt as a nice first food item for the babies for six months or more. Choosing the best Greek yogurt for babies is beneficial for the growth as well as other health conditions for the babies.
Why Greek yogurt?
Greek yogurt can be a nice choice of your baby’s early food. Greek yogurt is unique and contains a lot of nutrition. In addition to that, it contains a higher amount of calcium, which makes the baby’s bone much stronger. Moreover, Greek yogurt is also rich in flavor and taste.
You can buy Greek yogurt from any renowned supermarket. But, you must read the label and the reputation of the company, because, you are more likely to get the best Greek yogurt for babies from a reputed company. Therefore, from many brands and types of yogurt, you need to pick the best yogurt for the baby.
There is an extra benefit of Greek yogurt than any regular yogurt. I have previously talked about that also. The important thing is that, the production of Greek yogurt undergoes straining for several times more than regular yogurt production. The straining process decreases the amount of whey which usually causes allergic reaction as well as lactose digestion problem to the babies with lactose intolerance.
Along with that, Greek yogurt contains almost 50 percent less amount of sugar twice amount of protein than regular yogurt and these are why Greek yogurt is too beneficial. Therefore, you need to buy the right one, and have to buy the best Greek yogurt for babies.
When babies can eat Greek yogurt?
The mostly suggested age to introduce Greek yogurt to your baby is around 8 months of age.
Milk vs. Yogurt
Usually you should not feed your baby cow milk before he/she is 1 year old because, it creates digestive problem to the babies. Before the baby is 1 year old, it is not possible to digest cow’s milk as like as milk formula or mother’s breast milk. Moreover, the direct consumption of cow’s milk can pose harmful effect on the baby’s kidney as well. This phenomenon can occur because, milk has a higher concentration of proteins and minerals. Along with that, cow milk does not contain specific types of fats, minerals and vitamins like mother’s breast milk.
On the other hand, it is much easier for the babies to digest yogurt than milk. The probiotics in yogurt break down the lactose and protein and thus it makes it much simpler digestion for the babies. There are lots more benefits of feeding yogurt to your baby and I will provide you with these on next.
What kind of yogurt can be introduced to babies?
You have to keep several factors in your mind while you are about to introduce yogurt to your baby which includes:
- Avoid low fat or non fat yogurt: Your baby requires the yogurt with full fat. The percentage of fat in yogurt facilitates the growth of your baby. Moreover, it provides a nice and creamy texture which will be much delightful for your baby. You can move on to low fat yogurt or other dairy products, according to the pediatricians after your baby is around 24 months old.
- Avoid added flavor yogurt: Yogurt with different added flavors are available in the market. But, you need to feed your baby with plain yogurt without any added flavor. You can make yogurt at home and add berries or bananas to make it naturally flavored.
Can babies eat regular yogurt?
Without any confusion you can give plain yogurt to your baby and I am almost sure that you’re your baby will definitely like it.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, toddlers can only should fed with breast milk up to six months of their age after birth. After that, the babies can be fed with other milk formula and complementary foods from their six months to twelve months of age.
There are differences between regular yogurt and baby yogurt. Regular yogurts are basically for adult people and these yogurts are of special types. Most of the regular yogurts available in the market includes, sugar free or low sugar yogurt, fat free or low fat yogurt, lactose free yogurt and yogurts with different flavors. All these are for adults and babies require different.
The best yogurt for babies
The main criteria of the best yogurt for babies are, the yogurt must be made from whole milk.
If your baby is around six months old and your pediatrician gives a green signal, you can give a small amount of whole-milk yogurt to your baby. You may offer plain yogurt to your baby also and hopefully it will be delightful for your baby.
Regular yogurts are basically marketed for the adult population and people used to buy them according to their requirements such as someone needs sugar-free or fat-free, and someone may look for lactose free. On the other hand, baby yogurt is produced from whole-milk. Moreover, baby yogurt is organic and especially traded for babies. Almost all the brands of regular yogurt available in the market are fat-free or low-fat yogurt and they are not usually perfect for the babies.
Along with that, full-fat regular yogurt, which is made from whole-milk, can be grantable to provide your baby. Moreover, whole-milk yogurt is rich in dietary fat and foods with high amounts of fats are very essential for a baby’s growth and development.
Benefits of yogurt for your babies
As I said earlier that, baby yogurts are especially whole milk yogurt, whole-milk yogurt is rich in nutrition. Whole-milk yogurt is rich in carbohydrates, fats, proteins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iodine. Moreover, some brands of baby yogurts are strengthened with other nutrients such as iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D.
Many brands of whole-milk baby yogurt also contain live cultures. Live cultures in yogurt are also called probiotics. A research published on “Nutrition Research”, showed that, babies fed a probiotic yogurt based diet resulted in reduction of total stool outcome and lesser periods of bouts of diarrhea.
How yogurt helps the baby’s health?
Since yogurt has a higher nutritional value, it aids the total well being and the development of a baby. Besides these, there are also several benefits of feeding yogurt to your baby.
- Improves digestive health: Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are the major probiotics present in yogurt and these probiotics help the digestive system to function nicely. Besides these, persistent supply of lactobacillus helps to keep the digestive tract of your baby excellent.
Both Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium have different function. Lactobacillus acidophilus, aids to reduce the lactose intolerance symptoms. On the other hand, Bifidobacterium decreases irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
- Helps in insomnia treatment: Insomnia is a problem with sleeping. More precisely, insomnia refers to a sleeping disorder. In toddlers, insomnia is a common problem. Yogurt contains vitamin B complex and tryptophan, which enhance the generation of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which controls sleep. Moreover, yogurt contains magnesium which relaxes the muscle and provides a sound effect to the body.
- Stimulus the immunity: The probiotics of yogurt facilitate the generation of antibodies which protects the body from pathogens. Lactobacillus acidophilus improves the gut immune system and the body’s defense mechanism. Moreover, probiotics facilitate protection and recovery from infectious diseases such as yeast infection.
In addition to that, yogurt contains vitamin A and D which performs important functions to maintain a strong immune system.
- Makes the bone stronger: I said earlier that, yogurt contains proteins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D. These components are very essential for keeping the bones strong as well as the development of bones of babies.
Besides these, yogurt contains lactoferrin, which is an iron binding protein and it increases the function of osteoblast cells and decrease the activity of osteoclast cells. Both of these cells have the properties of developing the bones and breaking down the bones respectively.
In these, feeding your baby with yogurt will help to make your baby’s bone much stronger, and hopefully it will also reduce the risk of osteoporosis in the future. Therefore, you need to feed your baby the best yogurt for babies.
- Treats diarrhea in babies: A recent research shows that, feeding yogurt to the babies reduces the period of acute pediatric diarrhea. Yogurt contains lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium, and both of them help to maintain the sustainable balance of microorganisms in the digestive tract.
If you undergo antibiotic treatment to treat infectious disease of your baby, you have to keep in mind that, an antibiotic treatment not only kills the beneficial gut bacteria along with harmful bacteria, it also interrupts the regular movement of stools. Irregular movement of stools can be resulted in diarrhea. Moreover, babies are more prone to get attacked with diarrhea since their immune system is still developing at that time. Therefore, their immune system fails to respond strongly in the case of an infection. So, you can provide your baby with plain yogurt which helps your baby’s immune system to show a strong response.
The probiotics present in yogurt, aids to restore the loss of beneficial bacteria. Along with that, they also fight against bacterial infection and decrease stool frequency in antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Besides these, E.Coli, Rotavirus, Shigella and Salmonella usually causes infectious diseases to the babies. These microorganisms are mostly responsible for gastrointestinal diseases to the babies. Many studies have shown that, yogurt has properties to fight against infections due to these bacteria.
- A good food during jaundice and hepatitis: Both jaundice and hepatitis diseases are associated with liver. During these diseases, formation of urea in liver increases. Many doctors and different schools of medicines suggest buttermilk and yogurt during these types of liver disease because, consumption of yogurt on a regular basis, helps to reduce the formation of urea in the liver.
- Treating in urinary tract infections: The probiotics of yogurt help to treat infection causing bacteria which abide in the urinary tract. A urinary tract infection causes burning sensation during urination. It is also a common problem in babies. Therefore, you can provide yogurt to your baby and the infection can be decreased in a great way by the action of the probiotics of yogurt.
Home made yogurt for your baby
Making yogurt is too easy and you can also customize your yogurt as you wish if you make it at home. To make yogurt at home by yourself, you simply need to follow several steps. These are as follows:
- Requirements: You require 1 liter of whole milk and a teaspoon of yogurt.
- At first, you have to heat the milk for about 15 minutes. During heating, you have to maintain the temperature. The temperature should not be too high or too low and in should be in an optimum range.
- After that, you have to cool down the heated milk at room temperature.
- After cooling the milk, add a teaspoonful of yogurt to the milk and cover it up with a lid.
- Allow it to rest for about 7-8 hours
After completing all these processes your yogurt is ready to eat. In homemade yogurt, you may see some liquid portion at the top and this occurs because of the bacterial respiration. During making yogurt at home, you have to keep in your mind that, you should not allow to rest the yogurt to coagulate for a long period of time. Because, the yogurt may become too much sour if it is over fermented.
You should not add sugar or honey to the yogurt
While making yogurt in your home, please do not add any sugar or honey to it. Because, addition of sugar or honey can lead to serious issues such as the baby can develop a sweet tooth or it also can decay your baby’s teeth. Moreover, infant botulism can also be occurred due to the addition of honey, which may lead to dangerous consequences.
Make your homemade yogurt more delicious to your baby
You can also make your homemade yogurt so delightful to your baby by adding some items. Cut some seasonal fruits such as mango or banana into small pieces and add to the yogurt. Adding these fruits will fortify the yogurt with the nutrition of the fruits and make it much tastier to your baby.
On the other hand, please do not add strawberries or barriers to the yogurt that you make for your baby. You should avoid adding these fruits, because it can be allergic to your baby. Besides these, while buying yogurt from the market for your baby, you should not buy the yogurt with strawberry or berry flavored. Most importantly, you should feed plain yogurt to your baby and it should be made from whole-milk.
Storing your homemade yogurt
Basically, the fermentation process carried out by certain bacteria turns the yogurt into sour tasted from sweet tasted. In winter, you do not need to be worried about storing the yogurt, but in summer, you have to store the yogurt in a proper way. In summer, the bacterial fermentation process occurs faster and it quickly turns the yogurt sour tasted. Therefore, you need to refrigerate your yogurt until it is provided to your baby.
Things to consider
You need to keep several things in your mind before introducing yogurt to your baby.
You should consult with the pediatrician to test whether your baby has lactose intolerance and milk allergy or not.
Lactose intolerance is usually a genetic disease and it is associated with the decreased production of the lactase enzyme. Lactase enzyme digests the lactose of milk. The sugar of milk is called lactose. If your baby is lactose intolerant, it will create digestive problem with your baby. Therefore, you need to go for a lactose-free or sugar-free formula for your baby and you need to buy the best sugar-free yogurt from the market for your baby.
Milk allergy is also a common problem. Allergy is an immune response which can be occurred by the consumption of specific food items. A large number of populations over the world are allergic to milk. According to research, almost 2/3 percent babies have allergies to milk proteins. If your baby is allergic to milk, you need to go for the best dairy free yogurt for your baby.
Finally, I want to say that, it has been established that, the most important food for babies is mother’s breast milk. Without any confusion, no other foods or food supplements can take the place of this. But, as yogurt is a highly nutritious food, it will fortify your baby’s health development. Moreover, breast milk or baby formula should be the major sources of nutrition during the first year of the baby. Through the write up I have tried to focus on the beneficial aspects of feeding yogurt to your baby. I wish to add that, yogurt is not only a nice food for your baby, but it is also a nice and healthy food for you. I suggest you to buy the best yogurt for babies. All the information included is based on recent researches. I hope this post will be beneficial for you and you can learn something new also.
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