What Yogurt Should I Give My Baby?
Why does it have to be whole milk?
Many people seem to think that low fat is in itself dangerous for babies- it isn’t so if that’s all you have in you could give it but you shouldn’t make a habit of it as children need fat to help them grow and develop. Fat is especially good for their brain development too. We have been drilled into thinking that low- fat alternatives are best for us but there is growing scientific evidence to suggest that rather than being the enemy fat may actually be our friend. For more information see here. With this in mind I would simply recommend buying the full fat version for all the family- remember full fat dairy is natural and unprocessed and if you are worried about calories cut back on harmful foods like sugar and refined carbohydrates. Whatever you decide for the rest of your family though, full fat is a must for your growing baby. This is good because full fat yogurt is nicer and easier to eat as it is thicker.
If you are fine with cow’s milk you can use any whole milk yogurt. Many people like Greek yogurt as it is thick and creamy- making it delicious and easier to load onto a spoon.
If you are avoiding cow’s milk for whatever reason most good supermarkets now stock yogurts made from goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. Again these are usually plain and whole milk.
For anyone who has to avoid dairy completely you can buy alternative yogurts made from soya, pea protein and coconut but I am not sure what extra ingredients these yogurts have so check the label carefully.
If you like the idea of individual yogurt portions, rather than buying a big tub Petis Filous now make plain fromage frais for you to add your own fruit or leave plain- these are not stocked in all UK supermarkets though and can be hard to find.
Can I Make it More Interesting?
Rachel’s does a range of delicious whole milk yogurts made entirely from milk and fruit puree so no added sugar-only what you yourself would do it you mixed your own plain yogurt with puree at home. They are quite big portions and quite expensive for the four but they are really yummy. Plum now do a range of no added sugar yogurts too. Avoid most kids range yogurts on the market though as they are full of sugar.
How Should I Serve Yogurt to My Baby?
Firstly, try to relax, some mess with any kind of weaning is inevitable. Strip your baby if the weather permits or use a cover all bib- I like the ones from Ikea- you can see some more bib suggestions here.
Secondly choose a nice thick brand of yogurt- I like Greek yogurt.
You can now do a few things-
1) Offer the yogurt with slices of firm fruit, bread, crackers, veggies – anything so they can dip into the yogurt and lick it off
2) Pre-load the yogurt on to a spoon and then let your baby feed themselves from the pre-loaded spoon
3) Offer the yogurt in a shallow plastic dish or even plate and through caution to the wind- see what happens and have the clothes at the ready
4) This is my personal secret yogurt eating device that I always use- a silicon pastry brush- baby dips the brush into his yogurt and it sort of clings to the brush then he can eat it off the brush. It still lets him practice hand eye coordination, still lets him self-feed but it is a lot easier to manage at this point than a spoon. You can pick them up quite cheaply too.
5) Make frozen yogurt lolly pops- this is a bit of a cheat but it is great for teething as well!
I hope these suggestions are helpful and you give yogurt a go. Let me know how you get on, especially if you try the silicone pastry brush.
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