How to incorporate yogurt into your child’s diet
The yogurt section in the grocery store seems to be expanding every year, and it’s no wonder why! Yogurt is a versatile food that can be eaten as part of a meal or snack, and can be incorporated into many recipes from dips to dressings to desserts. Yogurt contains protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as the nutrients calcium, potassium, phosphorus and is often enriched with Vitamin D.
This nutritional profile makes it easy to see why eating yogurt is good for growing bodies. Babies and toddlers have tiny tummies, making it hard for them to eat a large volume of food at one time. This is why feeding them nutrient-dense foods such as yogurt is so important.
Aside from the obvious way of serving yogurt – simply scooped right out of a bowl with a spoon – its versatility lends itself to many meal and snack ideas that make it easy to get more yogurt into your baby and toddler’s diet. Here are some delicious ideas:
- Yogurt is a perfect first food for your baby. There is no preparation involved, and they’ll love the cool, creamy texture and mild flavor. Don’t assume they need sweetness! Babies have no expectations that yogurt “needs” to be sweetened, and oftentimes love its tanginess.
- Once your baby progresses to enjoy a variety of fruits and veggies, you can mix yogurt with mashed fruit such as banana, or blend sweet potatoes with yogurt and a dash of cinnamon.
- Older babies and toddlers love to self-feed, so making a thick muesli with yogurt soaked oats mixed with fresh or frozen berries will stick to the spoon making it easier for them to feed themselves. Make sure to soak oats at least four hours or overnight.
- Yogurt parfaits make a simple breakfast – layer yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit and whole grain cereal or granola.
- Have a teething baby? Freeze yogurt into popsicle molds, or fill them with leftover fruit and yogurt smoothie to make a soothing treat.
- A dollop of plain yogurt on a baked sweet potato or bean chili makes for a tangy topping.
- Make a savory dip with plain yogurt, dried herbs, a pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon juice. Pair with cut up crunchy vegetables.
- Have a DIY yogurt bar for dessert with a variety of delicious toppings, like crushed nuts, fresh cherries and whole grain cereal.
- Mix yogurt and peanut butter for a creamy dip for apple and pear slices.