Our baby loves eating yogurt.
Arya has been interested in eating foods since she was four-months old. She ate plain, mashed vegetables for the first few months, but we’ve been expanding her diet in recent weeks.
Now she loves eating yogurt and we’ve decided to make it her daily breakfast food.
Arya watches me eat yogurt for breakfast every morning so it’s not surprising that she wants to eat yogurt as well. But before letting her have yogurt I wanted to be sure that it would be safe for her to consume.
Nearly all internet resources on the subject of babies and yogurt refer to a single publication by Dr. Frank Greer (affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition). The journal article does not necessarily provide recommendations specific to eating yogurt, but does provide general guidelines about babies and switching to solid foods.
Greer et al do recommend avoiding certain foods until a baby is older, but otherwise confirm acceptance of the introduction of a variety of foods as a complement to breastfeeding for six-months old. Most notably, cow milk should be avoided until babies are one-year old.
Interestingly, the recommendation to avoid cow milk does not mean avoiding yogurt and cheese. Milk proteins (which are hard for young babies to digest) are broken down by the process of creating yogurt and cheese. Thus the general consensus that yogurt is a safe food for babies at six-months old.
Even though Arya would technically be able to eat the same yogurts that we do, we buy a different yogurt specifically for her. We generally eat nonfat, flavored greek yogurt in individual serving sizes. Babies need higher fat content and don’t need the extra sugar introduced by the fruit flavors. While there are many baby yogurts available for sale, research shows no difference between the products marketed specifically at babies as opposed to nutritionally-equivalent adult counterparts.
As a result, Arya now gets her own carton of super-high fat, non-flavored, greek yogurt. A single serving of baby’s yogurt has 18g of fat and 54% of an adult recommended daily value of saturated fat. Needless to say neither mommy nor daddy want to eat any of baby’s yogurt. Thankfully Arya likes the yogurt enough to eat it everyday.