When Can Babies Start Eating Yogurt?
Many parents think yogurt isn’t good for their babies because cow’s milk isn’t recommended before 12 months. However, there’s a key difference between the two dairy products.
You see, the live cultures in yogurt break down the lactose and protein in milk, making it much easier for little stomachs to digest. For this reason, many pediatricians say you can introduce yogurt to your baby as early as 6 months. In fact, it makes a good first food, thanks to its high levels of probiotics, calcium, protein and vitamins!
What Type of Yogurt Is Best for a Baby?
Look for organic, whole milk plain yogurt. Why? For one thing, many flavored options are extremely high in sugar, which isn’t ideal for anyone.
Another key consideration is whether the yogurt is organic. Non-organic dairy products may come from cows that have been given growth hormones or antibiotics. Plus, research has shown that organic dairy products have higher levels of nutrients.
“Research has shown that the milk of cows with access to pasture has a higher concentration of conjugated linoleic acids—an anti-carcinogenic compound—omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E,” Andre Brito, PhD, of the University of New Hampshire’s Dairy Nutrition Research Center, explains to Taste for Life.
Finally, whole milk yogurt is often best for young children, as the dietary fats are beneficial to their growth. With these criteria in mind, we set out to find the best organic yogurt for babies.
The Best Organic Baby Yogurt: Stonyfield Organic YoBaby
After reviewing the organic baby yogurts at the grocery store, one brand stands out from the rest: Stonyfield Organic YoBaby whole milk yogurts ($4 for six 4-ounce cups). Here’s what makes this product a winner.
Why We Love It
- Simple, Organic Ingredients: We love that there are only three ingredients in YoBaby plain yogurt. It’s made with cultured pasteurized organic whole milk, pectin and vitamin D3.
- Live Cultures: YoBaby has six types of live, active cultures, which can help to improve your little one’s digestive health. (They’re good for parents, too!)
- Pediatrician Recommended: In the 2018 IQVIA ProVoice Survey, Stonyfield Organic YoBaby was voted by pediatricians to be the top yogurt for babies 6 months to 2 years.
- Variety of Flavors: While the plain yogurt has the lowest amount of sugar, there are also a number of flavored YoBaby varieties, including vanilla, strawberry, blueberry and even sweet potato.
- Parent Approved: In addition to its impressive nutrition, YoBaby has near-perfect reviews on Influenster.
Buy Stonyfield Organic YoBaby Yogurt in Apple and Blueberry here.
We Also Recommend…
While Stonyfield is our favorite, there are a number of other great organic yogurt brands out there, including:
- Earth’s Best Organic Fruit Yogurt Smoothie, Strawberry Banana ($6 for a 4-pack): There are a number of reasons to love these yogurt smoothies from Earth’s Best. For one, they come in convenient pouches that don’t need to be refrigerated, so you can toss a few in your bag. Plus, they’re certified organic and non-GMO. However, they’re only recommended for children 2 and up, and they do have more sugar than the Stonyfield yogurt.
- Organic Valley Grassmilk Whole Milk Yogurt, Plain ($5 for a 24 ounce container on Amazon Fresh): If you don’t mind having to portion out yogurt by hand, you might want to spring for a larger container of Organic Valley Whole Milk Yogurt, which has naturally occurring omega-3s and active cultures and no added sugars. While it’s not specifically for babies, the minimally processed formula makes it a great option for the whole family.
Is It Okay to Give a Baby Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is another option for your baby, but keep in mind that little ones may not like the tangy taste of plain Greek yogurt. If you go this route, it helps to mix in a bit of fruit puree, such as strawberry or banana.
Is Low-Fat Yogurt Good for Babies?
In general, you’ll want to choose whole milk yogurt for your baby instead of low-fat options. Babies need more fat than older children or adults, as it plays a key role in brain development that happens before age 2.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that fats not be restricted in a baby’s first year, as they’re an important source of calories, essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. So stick to whole milk yogurt for the time being!