Most parents know that dairy isn’t recommended for young babies less than a year old, but still ask can I give my baby yogurt. While yogurt is considered a dairy food, and found in the dairy section, it has some properties to it that separates it from other products that are milk-based.
It’s recommended to start off with yogurt at about the 6 month mark or beyond.
Because of its baby food-like consistency it’s easy for them to get it down, but it’s not an essential part of a baby’s diet, and you don’t need to go out of your way or make a special effort to give it to them.
Can I Give My Baby Yogurt? Answer: After 6 Months or More
There’s no need to rush things when contemplating giving your baby yogurt. Since it’s a non-essential element to their overall development it’s best to hold off until later on when they’re a toddler and basically eating just about everything.
Good For Grown-Ups
Yogurt gets a lot of attention in the media and at health food sites as being part of a healthy diet, which leads many moms and dads to think it must be a good idea to give to their child. As with many foods that we as adults enjoy and consume, what’s good for us is often a different story for a baby.
Live and Active Cultures
For adults yogurt contains special enzymes that can aid in digestion, and introduces probiotics into the digestive system. Babies don’t require this, as they typically don’t have the same sort of digestion problems that adults do. They are not eating the processed foods that we eat, with lots of chemicals in them, such as fast food and pre-packaged foods. Also, they’ve likely haven’t been given lots of antibiotics that would reduce the number of good bacteria in their systems.
Since your baby doesn’t need to eat yogurt, it’s not required that you feed it to them. Take a minimalist approach to feeding your baby and you’ll come out on top every time. We recommend avoiding yogurt for the first year. At this time your baby can handle most foods and it should be fine to let them try it and see how they like it.
They might also have a problem with its tangy taste. A baby’s taste buds are new and still developing and yogurt has a rather powerful taste to it, when you stop to think about it. In fact, if you take our advice of only giving them all natural unflavored yogurt, you might be doing them a disservice by giving them yogurt.
A Note on Sugars, Additives and Chemicals
If you do opt for giving your baby yogurt, make sure to avoid all of the hoopla that is used by food manufacturers to sell more yogurt. Stick with organic, all-natural unflavored yogurt. Everything else is filled with chemicals or removed from its natural state. For example Yoplait, a popular yogurt brand, has dozens and dozens of different brands and varieties. Nearly all of the ingredients listed on its label are synthetic and shouldn’t be given to your baby.
In a perfect world we would be able to avoid all of these man-made additives from entering into our food. There are so many of them that it’s impossible to avoid them forever, but as a parent you can delay it for as long as possible for your baby. At the end of the day you are in control of what enters their body, and it’s great that you are doing your research rather than just guessing.
Can I Give My Baby Yogurt for Thrush?
There is no evidence available that giving your baby yogurt will reduce an outbreak of oral thrush. You should seek out treatments that are provided by your physician and not attempt a home remedy or use trial and error until it goes away.
Infant Digestive Systems
Always remember that you’re dealing with a blank slate when it comes to your baby. Since they are starting fresh there are many things they don’t need that adults do. If you’ve been giving your baby the right things all along they should be developing on schedule. Saving foods like yogurt until the one year mark is the safe way to go.
If you’re looking to broaden your baby’s palate you can try giving them different fruits that they haven’t tried yet, or introducing a new vegetable. There are several other foods that can provide a new taste for you child without the extra acidity and sourness that come with yogurt.