This is one of the most common questions in the consultation when we talk about complementary feeding . In many nurseries, a yogurt for dessert is regularly offered. And many parents are eager to offer their babies “My First Yogurt.” These “first yoghurts” are advertised as being suitable from six months. Are they really? And, even if they are suitable, are they necessary? Check out more articles on our site.
Are there yogurts suitable from six months?
Yogurt is a food obtained from the fermentation of milk. In the case of the “first yoghurts” they use a continuation formula (which can be taken from six months), so they are indeed suitable for babies from this age .
What differences are there between “My first yogurt” and the rest of yogurts?
We have already mentioned the first, they are made from follow-on formula, and not from cow’s milk. But in addition, they carry many other ingredients .
While most of the natural natural yogurts that we find in the supermarket are made up only of fresh pasteurized milk, skimmed milk powder and lactic ferments, the “first yogurts” contain, in addition to follow-on milk, a large number of other ingredients (starch corn, vegetable oils, maltodextrins, mineral salts, vitamins, aromas, stabilizer, acidity regulators, Lactobacillus casei…); in short, they are ultra-processed products .
Although they have recently reformulated “My first yogurt”, reducing its amount of sugar, most yogurts and dairy desserts aimed at children have a high concentration of sugars.
When can you have a normal yogurt?
According to the recommendations of the ESPGHAN (European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition) cow’s milk should not be introduced before one year of life as the main drink , as it is a poor source of iron and provides too many proteins, fats and calories if consumed. take in large quantities.
However, yogurt and other dairy products (béchamel sauce, cheese, butter…) can be given in small amounts from 9-10 months of life.
Does a baby need to drink yogurt from 6 months?
The reason for starting complementary feeding around six months is that the baby then begins to need some nutrients that milk alone cannot provide. Therefore, yogurt, a food derived from the fermentation of milk, will not be able to meet this need either.
As we have said, the baby needs other nutrients in addition to milk, he needs to “supplement” his diet . If I introduce yogurt, I am displacing, taking away “space”, other types of food that the baby really needs.
And finally, remember that, although from 9-10 months babies can eat small amounts of yogurt, it does not mean that it is necessary for them to do so . A baby who continues to drink breast milk on demand and feeds several times a day does not usually require another dairy intake ; and one who drinks formula needs between 280-500ml of milk a day, something that can be easily achieved with 2-3 bottles a day.
Natural or flavored yogurt?
Natural . Here there is no doubt. Flavored yogurts contain a large amount of added sugars (in addition to many other ingredients). It is enough to compare the labels of a natural yogurt and one of any flavor of the same brand.
A natural yogurt contains, as we have said previously, fresh pasteurized milk, skimmed milk powder (0.6%) and lactic ferments. If we look at the nutritional information, it has approximately 4g of sugars per 100g (naturally present, no added sugars)
On the other hand, the ingredients of a flavored yogurt, let’s say strawberry, are much more numerous: rehydrated skimmed milk, sugar, cream, gelatin, lactic ferments, aroma and colouring; and if we look at its natural composition we see that it contains 12.5g of sugars per 100g, that is, for yogurt, it contains 15.6g (a large part of those added)
What if you don’t like plain yogurt?
All children (and adults) do not like the same foods, and it is common for them not to like a food the first time they try it. We must continue to offer it ( never force it ), because sometimes it is necessary to try a food 10-15 times until we like it.
Sometimes we offer the child the sweetened yogurt to eat. The same thing happens with flavored yogurts, they contain a large amount of additives. We can mix the yogurt with fruit to add some sweetness.
In any case, remember that yogurt is not an essential food and that there are many other sources of calcium.