The first 12 months are very important for your child’s development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should not receive solid food in any form during the first six months of life. After six months you should determine whether the child can sit without standing on his or her head. This is a sign that she can now get solid food, including yogurt.
The nutrient content of yoghurt makes it an excellent food for babies. It is a rich source of calcium, potassium, various vitamins and proteins. It contains vitamin B12, which promotes the maturation of red blood cells in the bone marrow. It also plays an important role in the metabolism of every cell in our body and is essential for the functioning of the nervous system. Yoghurt also contains vitamin A, which plays a crucial role in growth, development, a healthy immune system and good eyesight.
The age at which you can start feeding your child yoghurt may vary slightly, so you should consult your paediatrician before giving your child yoghurt. In general it is recommended to eat yoghurt between 7 and 9 months. In fact, some pediatricians also recommend yoghurt as a suitable first food for babies.
Normal milk yoghurt is ideal for babies because it contains fats that are good for baby’s growth and do not contain sugar. On the contrary, you should avoid most yoghurts sold in yoghurt shops specially designed for children. Most contain added sugar that is not suitable for your child. Therefore, check the list of ingredients on the packaging to make sure it does not contain any ingredients such as fructose, corn sweetener, glucose, reed crystals, molasses, etc.
How to start
As mentioned earlier, one of the first signs that your child is ready to eat solid food is that he can hold his head upright. When she starts looking for food that she sees next to her, or when she weighs between 12 and 15 pounds (about twice her birth weight) six months later, it’s time to introduce her to solid food. However, if you have given her a yoghurt or other semi-solid food once and she pushes it out of her mouth, you will have to wait a few weeks before you try again.
Once it is safe to include solid foods in your child’s diet, you can combine certain solid foods, such as fruit and vegetables, with yoghurt. First of all you have to purée cooked vegetables or fruit and mix them with yoghurt. Later you can add cooked and finely chopped vegetables or fruit to your yoghurt.
The only thing we need to be aware of are possible allergic reactions. For example, if you introduce yoghurt into your baby’s diet, do not introduce any other new foods for at least three days. If you have an allergic reaction, you can make sure it’s caused by yogurt. In this case, you should stop feeding your child yoghurt and consult your paediatrician. Signs of allergic reactions may include: rash, swelling of the tongue or lips, hives, diarrhea or vomiting, coughing or breathing difficulties.
- Let her touch the yogurt and eat it with her fingers if she wants to.
- Don’t let them eat yogurt or other solid food. You might have to try it a few times until she takes it and you can include it in her diet.
- It’s very important that you let them eat at their own pace. Don’t force her to give the next spoonful of yogurt or other solid food until she’s finished with what she already has in her mouth.
Yoghurt for milk
There are two main reasons why it is normal to give your child yoghurt, but not normal milk until he or she reaches adulthood.
- Introducing whole milk into a child’s diet before his or her age can lead to the replacement of breast milk, which is necessary for the child’s full growth and development. Breast milk contains a perfect balance of fat, protein and vitamins. It contains antibodies that strengthen the child’s immune system and repel viruses and bacteria. It also plays an important role in the development of a child’s brain. Studies show that infants who are exclusively breastfed during the first six months and are combined with other foods for a year have a higher IQ as they grow older.
- Yoghurt preparation includes the introduction of a starter culture that enables fermentation. This reduces the lactose content of the milk and makes yoghurt much more digestible than whole milk. It also protects the child in case of lactose intolerance or sensitivity to milk protein allergy.
You can give your child a full milk yoghurt that you brought from the shop. However, if you want full control over what you feed your child (and if time permits), you should consider making yoghurt at home. It is a very simple process and the results are delicious. For adults you can always prepare a separate batch with honey, vanilla, maple syrup and other ingredients.
What do you need in?
- Glass cup or container with lid
- Fat milk
- Starter culture or probiotic capsules
- A big pot.
- wooden or plastic spoons for stirring or mixing
- Sterilize cups or glass containers with a pot of boiling water.
- Pour the milk into the pot and heat to 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit. But make sure the milk doesn’t boil.
- Now let the milk cool down to about 95-100 degrees. Use a thermometer for more accuracy. A candy thermometer is enough, but you have to work constantly. The digital alarm thermometer is more effective because it warns you when the temperature reaches 180 degrees in the previous step and 100 degrees in this step.
- Take about 100 ml of chilled milk and place the starter culture or probiotic capsules in the glass bottle. Mix well until completely mixed.
- Put this mixture back in the pot with the rest of the chilled milk and mix well.
- If you want to make yoghurt even easier at home, use the finished yoghurt instead of storing the purchased culture or probiotic capsules. It can be a yogurt you have stored from a previous batch you made, or a yogurt you bought in a yogurt shop. However, if you want to use a yogurt bought in the shop, make sure it contains live active yogurt cultures such as L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus or L. Thermophilus. Azidophilus.
- Place this pan with the lid firmly on the oven and cover it with towels. The oven should be at about 110 degrees. Leave the heating on for this, because in this way the temperature remains constant. You may need some experimentation to find out if the standard 40 W lamp in the oven is enough to keep the temperature constant or if you need a 60 W lamp. This is extremely important because the cultivated milk must be constantly heated for fermentation and processing into yoghurt.
- Leave to rest for about 10 hours and then test the taste. Because the yogurt is meant for your child, you don’t want it to get too sour. For adults, you can let him roam around for up to 24 hours, because the longer he roams around, the more he tastes like a greenhouse.
- After removing the pot from the oven, check whether there is a layer of whey on it. Whip it up to yogurt for a creamier consistency.
- Fill sterilized glass containers with yogurt, cover them with cheese cloth, tie them around your mouth and let them cool down.
- This batch of yoghurt must be consumed within two weeks.
A yoghurt machine can be used to simplify the process. These devices ensure a constant temperature during the fermentation of the cultivated milk. Some yoghurt makers, such as the YMX650 from Euro Cuisine, are also equipped with a timer function that allows you to set a specific time after which the machine will automatically switch off.
A simple sugar-free yoghurt is an excellent addition to a child’s diet. It contains many nutrients necessary for the child’s development and none of the problems are milk related. In fact, the yoghurt culture makes it more digestible.
Yoghurt is versatile, so your baby can have it easily and combine it with fruits and vegetables as soon as he’s ready to follow a more dense diet. Mixing or combining fruit and vegetables with yoghurt also makes it easier for your child to introduce new solid foods. However, novel foods should be included slowly in the child’s diet. In this way you can monitor all allergic reactions to certain foods. Also, just because the pediatrician has suggested that you give your baby yoghurt doesn’t mean you force him to eat only when he likes it.
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