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Yoghurt for Kids – Benefits, Risks and Recipes

Discover the benefits and risks of including yoghurt in your child's diet, as well as tips for choosing the right type of yoghurt and incorporating it into their meals. Learn about yoghurt's health benefits, including its high protein, calcium, and probiotic content, and its potential drawbacks, such as high sugar and calorie content and traces of growth hormones. Join the Babynama community to connect with medical experts and get advice on your child's health and development.

Have you noticed how the yoghurt section of most supermarkets has essentially taken over the dairy aisle?

**Today, yoghurt or frozen yoghurt comes in a variety of flavours, and children enjoy eating it, but is it healthy for them? **

Yoghurt is a nutrient-dense, delicious, and complete food. As a parent, you must be eager to include this delicious food in your child's diet, especially since it comes in so many different flavours. Let's find out about yoghurt.

What is Yoghurt?

Yoghurt is a fermented dairy product made by fermenting milk with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. It's an excellent source of protein and calcium, making it one of the healthiest foods available.

You can find it easily in markets or make it at home. Homemade yoghurt can be fed to infants over 7 months old as the lactobacillus bacteria break down milk proteins, making it easier to digest.

Yoghurt comes in a variety of flavours

  • Low-fat or fat-free yoghurt is made from 2% or skim milk.

  • Kefir is a liquid yoghurt made by fermenting kefir grains with milk.

  • Frozen yoghurt is often high in sugar and not necessarily healthier than ice cream.

  • Non-dairy yoghurt includes soy and coconut milk alternatives.

  • Greek yoghurt is thick and creamy with more protein and less calcium than regular yoghurt. It comes in full-fat, reduced-fat, and non-fat varieties.

  • Skyr is an Icelandic-style yoghurt that is thick, creamy, and high in protein, similar to Greek yoghurt but requires more milk to make.

Is Yogurt Beneficial to Children?

Yoghurt has a very healthy composition and is especially recommended for children. Most kids will crinkle their noses if you call any food "healthy," because they see it as a ruse to get them to eat something they don't like.

However, yoghurt is an exception because not only do children enjoy it, but they also enjoy the various flavours that can be added to it.

What Are the Health Benefits of Yogurt for Children?

  • Contains beneficial probiotics for digestive health

  • Excellent source of energy

  • Rich source of calcium for bone development and strengthening

  • Contains an adequate amount of protein, suitable for vegetarian families

  • Promotes optimal weight management by making children feel fuller

  • Versatile and can be used in a variety of dish preparations

Are There Any Harmful Effects of Yogurt Intake?

Yoghurt has its benefits, but it also has some disadvantages and side effects, especially for children. These cons include:

  • Commercial yoghurts may contain high fat, calories, and sugar content, leading to weight gain and other health problems.

  • Children with lactose intolerance should avoid yoghurt made from cow's milk and opt for goat milk or soy milk yoghurt instead.

  • Some yoghurts may contain traces of growth hormones, which can cause complications, so choosing hormone-free yoghurt is a safer option for children.

**Some Tips for Including More Yoghurt in a Child’s Healthy and Nutritious Diet **

  • Check the label to ensure that your yoghurt contains active cultures. The majority of brands will feature a graphic that says "live and active cultures."

  • Begin with plain, unsweetened yoghurt and add fruit, unsweetened fruit, or a small amount of pure maple syrup or honey to taste.

  • Pre-made fruit and yoghurt desserts should be avoided because they frequently contain unnecessary added sugars.

  • When baking, replace butter or oil with yoghurt.

  • Topping baked potatoes or tacos with plain Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream.

  • A healthy yoghurt should contain more protein per serving than sugar.

Conclusion

Yoghurt is a popular choice due to its many health benefits. However, when it comes to children, certain precautions need to be taken, especially if they have health conditions. Choosing the right alternatives and creating delicious recipes can help your child get the most out of it while staying healthy.

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