At What Age Can Babies Eat Yogurt?

Baby boy sitting in high chair eating yogurt

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Advice can vary on the ideal age at which your baby can eat yogurt. Talk to your pediatrician and find out if she has a suggested timeline for introducing foods. Here is what many doctors recommend.

When Can Babies Eat Yogurt?

Many doctors suggest introducing yogurt between 9 and 10 months of age. However, studies indicate that the timing of certain solids after a baby has reached 4 to 6 months is not as important as once believed. In light of that, some pediatricians might recommend introducing selected yogurts as early as 6 months.

Which Yogurt Is Good for Babies?

At whatever age you choose to start yogurt, be selective about your choice. Be sure to serve a whole milk yogurt because your baby needs the nutritious fat in whole-milk products for proper brain development.

While many yogurts are marketed to babies and kids, not all are as healthy as others. Many of these yogurts add extra sugar. While all yogurt contains naturally occurring sugars, you want to be mindful of how much sugar is added and if the yogurt contains other additives—like fructose syrup, starches and the like.

A good choice is to start with plain, whole milk yogurt. For extra flavor, stir in a fruit or veggie purée that you know your baby tolerates well. Buy a large tub of plain yogurt to save money over more expensive single-serving packages.

Fruits and Veggies That Mix Well With Yogurt

You can make all sorts of different yogurt concoctions. You might try mixing yogurt with:

If you enjoy making your own baby foods, you might consider making your own baby smoothies, too. Frozen smoothies placed in a mesh baby feeder are a great way to soothe a teething baby's sore gums.

Shelf-Stable Yogurts

These yogurts do not need to be refrigerated, which is nice if you want something you can toss in your diaper bag when you are out on the run. But since these yogurts have been pasteurized, their live cultures have been destroyed. So many of the elements that make yogurt such a healthy option are no longer present in the shelf-stable products.

Isn't Yogurt a Dairy Product?

Confused about why yogurt (and cheese) is okay before one year of age, but milk is not? Here are a few reasons.

  • Cow's milk does not match the needed nutrition that breastmilk and/or infant formula provides. Doctors do not want parents to replace breastmilk or formula with cow's milk until after baby's first year.
  • Just as they do when they eat other solid foods, babies will continue to drink enough breastmilk or formula to meet their nutritional needs. Yogurt is a supplement to the nutrition they receive, not a replacement.
  • Yogurt and cheese undergo a culturing process that breaks down the milk proteins. This makes yogurt and cheese easier to digest while being a great source of protein.
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