Yogurt is a popular food choice for babies, thanks to its smooth texture and easy availability. However, for parents of babies with cow’s milk allergies or those who avoid dairy for other reasons, finding suitable options can be a challenge.
That’s where almond milk yogurt comes in. Made from finely ground almonds and water, this dairy-free alternative is becoming increasingly popular. But can babies have almond milk yogurt?
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of almond milk yogurt for babies, as well as provide some delicious recipes to try out.
So, let’s dive in!
Can Babies Have Almond Milk Yogurt?
The short answer is yes, babies can have almond milk yogurt. However, it’s important to note that almond milk yogurt should only be introduced to babies once they are over 12 months old and have already tried other foods individually with no adverse reactions.
Almond milk yogurt is a great option for babies with cow’s milk allergies or those who avoid dairy for other reasons. It’s also a good choice for parents who want to introduce their babies to a variety of flavors and textures.
When choosing almond milk yogurt for your baby, make sure to opt for plain organic whole yogurt. This type of yogurt is pre-digested and easier on your baby’s still-developing digestive system. It’s also loaded with probiotic power thanks to the good microorganisms that partially digest the food.
Avoid flavored and fruit-on-top yogurts, as they often contain added sugar that can contribute to tooth decay and obesity. The USDA guidelines recommend that children under 2 years old get no added sugar from their diet.
Greek yogurt is another good option for babies, as it has twice as much protein as regular yogurt and often comes in sugar-free varieties.
What Is Almond Milk Yogurt?
Almond milk yogurt is a dairy-free alternative to regular yogurt that is made with almonds. It has a similar texture and tangy taste as regular yogurt but is vegan, grain-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free. Almond milk yogurt is essentially thickened and cultured almond cream made from blanched (peeled) almonds. The skins of almonds contain tannins, which are astringent compounds that contribute to bitterness and a less smooth cream. Removing the skins results in a cleaner and sweeter flavor of the strained almond cream. Compared to other nuts, almonds have the highest fiber content, and a lot of the fiber resides in the skins of almonds. When making almond milk yogurt, it’s important to use plain organic whole yogurt for babies over 12 months old who have already tried other foods individually with no adverse reactions. It’s a good choice for babies with cow’s milk allergies or those who avoid dairy for other reasons. Flavored and fruit-on-top yogurts should be avoided as they often contain added sugar that can contribute to tooth decay and obesity. Greek yogurt is another good option for babies, as it has twice as much protein as regular yogurt and often comes in sugar-free varieties.
Benefits Of Almond Milk Yogurt For Babies
Almond milk yogurt has several benefits for babies. First, it’s a great source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. It also contains beneficial probiotics that support digestive health and boost the immune system.
Additionally, almond milk yogurt is a good alternative for babies with cow’s milk allergies or lactose intolerance. It’s also free from hormones and antibiotics that may be present in dairy products.
Another benefit of almond milk yogurt is its versatility. It can be used as a base for many recipes, including purees, smoothies, and dips. This allows parents to introduce their babies to new flavors and textures in a fun and nutritious way.
Lastly, almond milk yogurt is widely available in most natural markets and health food stores. This makes it easy for parents to incorporate into their baby’s diet without having to make it from scratch.
Potential Drawbacks Of Almond Milk Yogurt For Babies
While almond milk yogurt can be a great alternative to dairy-based yogurts, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks when it comes to feeding it to babies.
Firstly, almond milk yogurt may not provide the same amount of calcium as dairy-based yogurts, even if it’s fortified with calcium. Calcium is crucial for healthy bone development in babies, so it’s important to ensure that your baby is getting enough of this nutrient through other sources in their diet.
Additionally, some babies may have allergies or sensitivities to tree nuts, which could cause adverse reactions when consuming almond milk yogurt. It’s important to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your baby for any signs of allergic reactions or digestive issues.
Finally, almond milk yogurt may not provide the same amount of fat and protein as dairy-based yogurts. While this may not necessarily be a drawback for all babies, it’s important to ensure that your baby is getting enough of these nutrients through other sources in their diet.
When Can Babies Start Eating Almond Milk Yogurt?
Babies can start eating almond milk yogurt once they are over 12 months old and have already tried other foods individually with no adverse reactions. It’s important to note that almond milk yogurt should not be used as a substitute for breast milk or formula, which should be the primary source of nutrition for babies until they are one year old.
Before introducing almond milk yogurt to your baby, consult with a pediatrician to ensure that it’s the right choice for your child. It’s also important to choose a reputable brand that uses organic and non-GMO ingredients. Homemade almond milk yogurt may not be a good option for babies, as it may lack essential nutrients.
When feeding almond milk yogurt to your baby, start with small amounts and watch for any signs of allergic reactions or digestive issues. If your baby has a tree nut allergy or a family history of nuts allergy, consult with a pediatrician before using almond milk yogurt.
How To Choose The Best Almond Milk Yogurt For Your Baby
When it comes to choosing the best almond milk yogurt for your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that the yogurt is made with organic whole almonds and is free from any additives or preservatives.
Look for almond milk yogurts that are unsweetened and have no added flavors or fruits. These yogurts are less likely to contain added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients that can be harmful to your baby’s health.
Check the label to see if the yogurt is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are important for your baby’s growth and development, especially during their first year of life. If the yogurt is not fortified, make sure your baby is getting these nutrients from other sources.
Consider the texture of the yogurt as well. Some almond milk yogurts may be too thick or too thin for your baby’s liking. Look for a yogurt that has a consistency similar to regular dairy yogurt, as this will be more familiar to your baby’s palate.
Lastly, always consult with your pediatrician before introducing any new foods to your baby’s diet. They can provide guidance on when and how to introduce almond milk yogurt, as well as any potential allergen risks.
Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Recipes For Babies
If you’re looking to make your own almond milk yogurt for your baby, there are several recipes available online that are easy to follow. Here is a simple recipe for homemade almond milk yogurt that’s perfect for babies:
– 2 cups of organic whole almonds
– 4 cups of filtered water
– 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
– 1 teaspoon of probiotic powder
1. Soak the almonds in water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
2. Drain and rinse the almonds, then add them to a blender with 4 cups of filtered water.
3. Blend on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth into a large bowl.
5. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract (if using) and stir well.
6. Transfer the mixture to a sterilized glass jar and stir in the probiotic powder.
7. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or towel and let it sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours, or until it thickens and becomes tangy.
8. Once the yogurt has reached your desired consistency, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Remember to always consult with your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby’s diet.