With its smooth texture and appealing taste, yogurt is often ideal food for babies who are beginning to eat table foods. As yogurt is a significant source of calcium, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends full-fat yogurt for infants and toddlers, according to pediatrician Alan Greene of Dr.Greene.com. When introducing your baby to yogurt, you should keep a few things in mind.
Feed your baby yogurt when she reaches about 8 months old. According to the AAP, most babies begin transitioning to solid foods with cereals, fruits and vegetables, but when they are ready to begin eating table food, they often start filling up on empty calories. This is a good time to introduce your baby to yogurt.
Give your baby 1 teaspoon of plain yogurt to see if she likes it, advises the Newfoundland Department of Health and Community Services website. If your baby doesn't like plain, unsweetened yogurt, try adding the yogurt to pureed fruit baby food, like bananas or applesauce, to make it more palatable. You could also try pureeing fresh fruits, such as mangos or pears, and adding it to the yogurt.
Offer additional yogurt according to your baby’s tastes and appetite if she wants more. Keep in mind that babies might adjust and adapt to the tart flavor of yogurt if given the opportunity, according to an article published by the Center for Effective Parenting.
According to Dr. Greene, yogurt containing probiotics might help treat gastrointestinal infections. The probiotics present in yogurt might also reduce the incidence of ear infections, pneumonia, sinusitis and bronchitis in children. Moreover, yogurt might even help reduce the incidence of allergies, asthma and food allergies.
Yogurt containing refined or artificial sweeteners doesn’t add important value to your baby’s diet and might contribute to your infant developing an overactive sweet tooth, states the Children’s Physicians Omaha website.
Speak with your pediatrician about recommendations for yogurt for your baby. Whole milk yogurt provides important fats that a child under age 3 needs for brain development, notes Dr. Greene.