Introducing your little one to solid foods is a wonderful time.
You’re in for countless different facial expressions and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments (and, yes, probably a bit of a mess, too – better keep those wet wipes handy!).
As you start thinking of menu options, you might be wondering when your baby can eat yogurt.
What’s the best time to scoop a spoonful into their little mouths, and what type of yogurt should it be?
We’re here to unpack this, because while giving your baby cow’s milk to drink on its own should be avoided for a little while longer, yogurt is a great first food for your baby.
Can babies eat yogurt?
Babies are usually ready to start eating solid foods when they’re about six months old, although this varies from baby to baby. Always go at the pace that feels right for you, mama.
Most babies can start eating yogurt quite early on in their solid food journey.
Yogurt is jam-packed with some great nutrients your tiny tot needs, including protein, fat, calcium and vitamin B12. It gives your baby’s bones, muscles and teeth just the boost they need.
It also introduces super-healthy live bacteria and yeasts, called probiotics, into your baby’s tummy.
These microorganisms are very important for your baby’s gut, and can help them to digest all the tasty new foods they’re discovering. Probiotics are important for adults, too.
Can babies eat Greek yogurt?
What kind of yogurt is best for babies? Is whole milk yogurt a good idea? What about Greek yogurt?
First things first: always make sure that the yogurt you choose is unsweetened. It shouldn’t have any added sugar at all. Zip. Nada.
Babies under two years old shouldn’t have refined sugar in their diets as it can rot their teeth and contribute to obesity as they grow up.
Also make sure that you avoid raw milk yogurt.
Raw milk yogurt might have dangerous bacteria and impurities in it that can be incredibly harmful to babies’ young immune systems.
Always stick to dairy products that have been heated to kill these unfriendly bacteria.
This process is called pasteurization. (Probiotics are added after yogurt has been pasteurized and are a perfectly healthy type of bacteria.)
Plain, whole (or full fat) milk yogurt with nothing extra is what you’re after.
Greek yogurt is also a good idea, as it’s slightly more gloopy and therefore easier to scoop. It’s also got a bit more protein and calcium, which is great.
Why can babies have yogurt but not drink milk?
While babies who are under 12 months can digest yogurt quite easily, they should only drink cow’s milk after that big first-year milestone.
This also applies to other types of milk, such as goat’s milk and soy, rice or almond milk.
At six months, your baby’s tummy probably won’t be able to tolerate cow milk protein in large quantities.
This doesn’t apply to formula, which is made from cow’s milk but has been treated to make it suitable for babies.
Remember that milk allergies are common in babies, and there’s the chance that your little one might not respond well to yogurt.
Look out for any signs that your baby is having a bit of a reaction. These might include a rash, itching, swelling of their lips or tongue, sneezing, wheezing, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Always introduce new foods (yogurt included) one at a time, and wait a few days before you try another.
Don’t be shy to speak to your doctor if you spot anything you’re worried about.
Most of all, enjoy the journey. There’s a whole world of flavors, colors and textures for your little foodie to explore. Take a look here for other yummy first-food ideas.
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