Yogurt is a fermented dairy product prepared by the bacterial action of two specific lactic-acid producing bacteria on milk - Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
It features among the healthiest foods because of the significantly high amount of nutrients it contains, particularly protein and calcium. It is available in markets and can also be easily prepared at home.
can be fed to infants above 7 months since milk proteins are broken down by lactobacillus bacteria to simpler forms and can be easily digested.
National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad recommends 5 servings of milk and other milk products for children above 6 months of age. Due to the conversion of lactose in milk to glucose and galactose in yogurt, people suffering from lactose intolerance
can incorporate yogurt in their diet to meet their nutritional needs.
Flavored yogurt and Greek yogurt are popular yogurt variants available in supermarkets.Nutritive Value Yogurt is packed with essential nutrients and is composed of 81% water, 9% protein, 5% fat, and 4% carbohydrates.
|Nutritive value per 100grams |
|Energy ||97kcal |
|Carbohydrates ||4g |
|Proteins ||9g |
|Fats ||5g |
| Betacarotene ||26µg |
| B1 ||0.023mg |
| B2 ||0.278mg |
| B3 ||0.208mg |
| B5 ||0.331mg |
| B6 ||0.063mg |
| Folate ||5µg |
| B12 ||0.75µg |
| Choline ||15.1mg |
| Magnesium ||11mg |
| Manganese ||0.009mg |
| Phosphorus ||135mg |
| Potassium ||141mg |
| Sodium ||35mg |
| Zinc ||0.52mg |
Health Benefits of Yogurt for Babies
High nutritional value of yogurt facilitates the overall development and well being of a baby. Besides the nutritional aspect, there are several benefits of feeding yogurt to babies.
- Enhances Digestive Health
Probiotics in yogurt like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis facilitate smooth functioning of the digestive system.
Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria help reduce lactose intolerance symptoms whereas Bifidobacterium lactis bacteria lower the incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as constipation.
Yogurt also contains Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria which reduces abdominal cramps and flatulence.
- Relieves Diarrhea in Babies
Research published in the Nutrition Research journal concluded that inclusion of yogurt alleviates symptoms and reduces duration of acute pediatric diarrhea.
Yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum which maintains good bacteria in the digestive tract.
The intake of antibiotics to treat any bacterial infections not only kills the disease-causing bacteria but disrupts the good bacteria as well which regulate the movement of stools, resulting in diarrhea.
The probiotics in yogurt restore the beneficial bacteria in the gut, combat bacterial infection as well as reduce stool frequency in antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Many studies have revealed the protective properties of yogurt against gastrointestinal infections due to Rotavirus, Salmonella, Shigella and E.coli.
- Helps Treat Insomnia
Insomnia is a common problem affecting infants. Yogurt contains B complex vitamins and tryptophan, which stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep.
Additionally, the magnesium in yogurt, works as a muscle relaxant and has a calming effect on the body.
- Boosts Immunity
Probiotics in yogurt aid in the production of antibodies which defend against pathogens. Lactic acid bacilli in yogurt enhance the gut immune system as well as the body’s overall defense mechanism.
Yogurt is a good source of Vitamin A and D, which play an important role in maintaining a strong immune system.
Probiotics enhance resistance as well as recovery from all kinds of infections.
- Improves Bone Health
Yogurt brims with the goodness of bone-friendly nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Yogurt also contains lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein which boosts the activity of osteoblast cells (bone-building cells) and decreases the activity of osteoclast cells (cells that break down the bone).
Dietary intake of dairy products like yogurt during childhood, optimizes peak bone mass and lowers the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Yummy Yogurt Recipe for BabiesCherry Berry Minty YogurtIngredients
- ˝ cup fresh cherries
- ˝ cup fresh mixed berries
- 2 cups fresh yogurt
- 5-6 mint leaves
Tips on Using Yogurt for Babies
- Place cherries and berries in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes until they become soft.
- Cool the mixture and puree in a blender with mint leaves.
- In a small glass, place 2 teaspoons of this mixture and then add 2 teaspoons of yogurt. Repeat till the glass is full and then stir them together to obtain a colorful looking yogurt.
- Feed full-fat milk yogurt to babies since the fats in whole milk promote vision and brain development.
- Avoid adding honey or sugar to sweeten yogurt to prevent dental decay and cavities in babies.
- Organic, home-made yogurt is better than packaged yogurt available in the market.
- Use fruits to add variety to yogurt.
- Introduce frozen yogurt to an elder child instead of icecreams.
- Use yogurt as a healthy snack.