I was really interested in introducing yogurt to my baby, but was also quite cautious because I'd heard that babies weren't supposed to have dairy before their first birthday. So I spoke to her pediatrician about it and also researched online. I discovered that the "no dairy before 1 rule" really only applies to milk, but cheese and yogurt are fine before the age of one especially for babies over the age of 6 months. We decided to start with yogurt when she was about 7 months old. I was really hoping I would find a good brand of baby yogurt that would be all natural with added fruit, but I was out of luck. The main brand of baby yogurt in our area is Yobaby by Stonyfield and just like all the other brands of flavored yogurt that I came across, it has added sugar. In fact if you check the label, sugar is the second ingredient on the list after milk, which means there is more sugar in there than fruit! I was pretty disappointed, because I liked the convenience of small yogurt cups and they would have been ideal for days out and for breakfast at the daycare.
I don't add sugar to any of my baby's food so far, so I really wasn't comfortable with the added sugar in this yogurt. The label states there are 12 grams of sugar per each 4oz cup of yogurt which is kind of a lot. I know that some of the sugar comes from natural milk sugar as well as the fruit. But not much of the sugar actually comes from fruit since even their vanilla flavored yogurt has 13grams of sugar. I also realized that regular plain yogurt only has 6 grams of natural milk sugar in every 4oz. Which is half the amount of sugar in Yobaby! That was enough for me to decide to stick with natural plain yogurt.
It is unfortunate that it's nearly impossible to find plain yogurt in small cups, so I was forced to buy the big 32oz tub of plain yogurt by Dannon. I like this brand because it only has one ingredient which is milk!!! No added sugar, or flavors or anything. It is always best to go with the regular full fat version, I have accidentally purchased the non-fat version on one occasion because I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention to the label. My baby doesn't like the non-fat version at all, it doesn't taste as good, it isn't as thick or creamy, it doesn't even look the same. And honestly babies should always get full fat dairy products, unless their pediatrician recommends otherwise. I learnt my lesson and since then I always double check to make sure I am buying the regular version rather than the lowfat or nonfat.
Since the plain yogurt by itself is a bit strong and not very sweet, I decided to mix it in with any fruit my baby was having that week. I thought it would be really inconvenient to always have to mix it, but honestly it just takes a second and I can still do it quickly in the mornings and add it to her lunch bag for breakfast at daycare. I initially tried it out with the pear puree I made, and since then she has had it with bananas, oatmeal, apples and even blueberries. Without a doubt yogurt is her absolute favorite thing to eat so far. She gobbles it down like she is trying to win an eating contest!
|Defrosted pear puree & a tub of plain yogurt|
|Mixing yogurt with pear|
|Yogurt and blueberries|
|Yogurt and banana|