Over the last few articles, we were discussing the transition of babies to solid foods. We said that at stage one you can start introducing the baby to pureed food. At stage two you can start adding chunks. At stage 3 you can start feeding the baby table food. We also said that at stage two it is okay to introduce your child to organic baby yogurt, but not to cow’s milk.
So, the question is, why should you introduce your child to organic baby yogurt, and what are the benefits of baby yogurt?
Usually, baby yogurt should be introduced when the child is about 7-8 months old. Some pediatricians recommend organic baby yogurt starting at 6 months. Even though yogurt is liquid enough for the child to eat it when it starts weaning, you should still hold it off for a couple of months. The problem here is that yogurt is still a bit too hard for the baby to digest, and it doesn’t have all the nutrients that you would find in breast milk or baby formula. Yogurt, being a dairy product, contains a very high dose of lactose, and very young babies that are still breastfeeding can’t digest such an amount very well, which may lead to the baby getting diarrhea.
Also, when introducing yogurt, you should abide by the 5-day rule established for the stage one foods. Even though you will start feeding the baby yogurt a bit later, you should still be careful and introduce yogurt to your baby’s diet slowly. This ensures that if the child has an allergic reaction, you can isolate the culprit, and recognize that the child has an allergy to lactose in cow’s milk. Like we said, these allergies might just be something mild like diarrhea, but it could be something more prominent and dangerous.
One of the problems with yogurt is that it is still used somewhat to help with constipation with children. However, we strongly advise that you do not give your 6-month old baby yogurt if they suffer from constipation, but consult the physician. The reason, again, is that babies have a problem digesting the high content of lactose in cow’s milk, and the only thing you will do is give your baby diarrhea instead of curing constipation.
Lastly, babies shouldn’t be fed yogurt at an early age because it can interfere with regular breastfeeding. Dairy is not a replacement for breast milk or formula! If you feed yogurt often, your child will start to wean at an increased rate, and this is something you certainly don’t want, for health reasons concerning your baby, as well as yourself. Yogurt, just like cow’s milk, contains fats, and fats are essential for babies (because they convert it into energy), but yogurt and milk contain wrong kids of fats that will not benefit your child.
So, how should organic baby yogurt be fed to a child? The answer is – pure. Remember what we talked about flavors in stage one solid food diet? Flavors should be fed to the child one at a time, and so should it be done with yogurt. Yogurt should not be flavored at all, and only single flavor yogurt should be given to the child.
One of the worst things you can feed a child under the age of 12 months is sweeteners. The trouble with yogurt, especially flavored yogurt, is that it contains sweeteners, natural as well as artificial. These should be avoided at all cost, as they could bring about a misbalance in your baby’s diet, and could mean an onset of diabetes or childhood obesity. But the absolutely worst way to sweeten up the yogurt is honey. Honey is very dangerous for babies under 12 months old, as it contains a certain strand of bacteria that can cause a very serious condition, diet-induced infant botulism. Botulism is a very serious disease that causes extreme weakness and even paralysis of muscles in the patient, and infant botulism is the most prominent type of botulism in the Western world (although the sources of the infection may vary).
Naturally, try to feed your child organic yogurt only. In this way, you will ensure that the food you’re giving your child is not GMO. Also, when picking yogurt, be sure that you pick whole milk yogurt, and make sure it does not contain flavors and sweeteners (not even fruit yogurt; it also contains sweeteners).
Benefits of Organic Baby Yogurt
Naturally, we wouldn’t suggest yogurt if it didn’t have any benefits for the child. Yogurt is well known for having a very beneficial effect on the immune system. In babies, organic baby yogurt will help calm the immune system if it is overstimulated, or boost it if it is weak. Not only that, but the yogurt can also help with eczema, a very prevalent skin condition in small children. Eczema can’t be treated as such, but yogurt can help boost the immune system and ward off allergies, which are known to trigger the onset of eczema.
Some Good Organic Yogurts
The best and the healthiest organic baby yogurts are the Greek organic baby yogurt, and the YoBaby Plain yogurt. The reason why these are the best baby yogurts on the market is because they adhere to the standards we’ve explained above. These yogurts don’t contain any GMO and are exclusively made using whole milk. They are also rid of any sweeteners and are single flavor only, so you don’t have to worry about trouble multiple flavors can cause.
Well, that’s all we have to say about organic baby yogurt. While reading our article, we hope you learned something new, and know how to properly introduce this otherwise very beneficial dairy product. Remember the five-day rule of introducing new flavors to the baby, and remember – no sweeteners of any kind, especially honey. If you remember these two primary rules, then your child will be able to experience this new flavor without risk and will be able to enjoy it fully.