New parents may have a lot of concerns related to their developing little ones, and one of these is shifting their baby’s diet from milk to solid foods. This is a necessary step that helps keep up with the required nutritional intake of the growing baby. But it can be an extremely hard task, as toddlers have a very hard time adjusting to the new flavors and textures of solid foods. Moreover, most parents do not know when is the right time to wean their baby from milk to solid foods and are unaware of ways to do so.
Are you a concerned parent who is looking for ways to wean their baby from milk to solid foods? Do you have questions like, when is the right time to wean? and what kinds of foods can help do so? Then you do not need to worry; we are here to answer all of your questions.
When looking through the internet you may come across a variety of different methods for weaning, one of these is baby-led weaning, which allows your little ones to learn how to cater to themselves. You can use different types of snacks in this technique, but the best one is baby yogurt. Your baby can start eating whole milk yogurt around the age of 6 months, which is usually when most babies are ready to shift to solids.
Yogurt has many health benefits, and pasteurized full-fat yogurt is said to be the best for babies. Furthermore, Greek yogurt is highly suggested for weaning, as it clings to the spoon easily and contains less lactose, making it thicker. Though yogurt is safe for babies, make sure to read the nutritional labels and watch for any allergic reactions before feeding it to your baby.
What Is Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)?
Baby-led weaning is a very popular method of shifting your baby’s diet from milk to finger foods while completely bypassing mashed-up snacks and purees. Eating solids not only helps fill your baby’s nutritional needs but also helps in developing your baby’s motor skills, allowing them to learn how to chew and swallow.
In this method babies are encouraged to feed themselves, hence the name baby-led weaning. BLW is a great way of transitioning to solid snacks. The following are a few benefits of the BLW method:
Introduction Of New Textures
This technique allows your baby to experience a variety of different textures and flavors. Studies show that children who eat a broad spectrum of foods in the earlier stages of life are at a lower risk of developing any sort of allergies. In addition, finger snacks may help in discovering potential allergens.
Avoiding Obesity In Children
Just like breastfeeding, in BLW, the babies are in control and self-feed themselves according to their hunger level. This does not happen in spoon feeding as the parent is in control, which may lead to cases of obesity in babies.
Development Of Motor Skills
This method also helps a lot in developing motor skills in your child, for example, hand-eye coordination and hand-to-mouth actions.
Though this is a great way of helping your baby in shifting to solid snacks, you should still consult a medical professional before opting for this or any other method to be on the safer side.
When Should I Start Baby-Led Weaning?
Generally, babies start to sit up on their own around the age of 6 months, around this time they also start grabbing stuff in their hands. According to professionals, this time is the perfect age to start BLW.
While doing so keep in mind that food offered to the baby must be small to avoid any kind of choking hazard.
Moreover, every child develops at their own rate, so your baby might not be ready to switch to solid snacks around the age of 6 months. If that’s the case, visit a pediatrician.
How Can I Start Baby-Led Weaning?
When you start noticing milestones like your baby sitting up on their own and starting to grab stuff, then it may be the right time for you to start this method.
You can first introduce water through a trainer cup, along with that you can add naturally occurring sugars to your baby’s meals like soft ripe fruits like banana, avocado, kiwi, mango, and pear.
In addition to these roasted, steamed vegetables and soft or ground meat can also be eaten, which not only are a great source of nutrients but also have good flavor.
Once your baby is 6 months old you can introduce yogurt. Feed your baby with plain unsweetened organic yogurt. Try to avoid sweetened yogurts as they have artificial or added sugars that are not good for your baby’s health.
You may expose your little one to all types of food but try to avoid serving items like raw and hard vegetables, crunchy foods, and round firm berries, as they can cause a choking hazard.
In addition to this, dairy products other than pasteurized yogurt and cheese, like whole cow milk should not be given to toddlers before their first birthday because they can cause digestive tract bleeding. Keep in mind that your baby may be allergic to some foods, so be careful while shifting to solids.
Is Baby Yogurt A Good Way To Start Baby-Led Weaning?
Yogurt is not only good but a great first food for your baby. Baby yogurt has high levels of phosphorous and calcium in it that help in the development of your baby’s growing bones. Plain yogurt is full of digestive enzymes and bacterial cultures, which play a key role in the development of your baby’s immunity.
These bacterial cultures can break down lactose and thus are also a great dairy product for babies who are lactose intolerant.
Yogurt is made up of cow milk that goes through a process called fermentation, in which milk protein is broken down into smaller compounds that can easily be digested by your toddler. Introducing yogurt into your baby’s meals may be the best way to jump-start baby-led weaning.
Yogurts like Greek yogurt containing less lactose and more protein, plain yogurt, plant-based yogurt, and plain and unsweetened pasteurized full-fat yogurt are the best choices for babies.
So, next time you go grocery shopping, make sure to buy baby yogurt. But be aware that your baby may have a yogurt allergy, if that’s the case, you should consult a medical professional who may help you by providing alternatives.
How Can I Use Yogurt As A Meal For Kids?
As mentioned above, Greek yogurt has a lot of nutritional value and is a great snack for toddlers, but babies may have a hard time adjusting to the texture and taste of yogurt.
To counter this, you can incorporate yogurt into different meals. Following is a list of different ways you can use to get yogurt in your child’s meal:
Mixing With Mashed Foods
Once your baby starts enjoying veggies and fruits, you can add yogurt to their meals by mixing them with mashed-up vegetables like sweet potatoes and fruits like bananas.
Berries And Yogurt-Soaked Oats
Another way is adding berries and oats to yogurt. But keep in mind that these can be a little too hard to swallow for your little one and can lead to choking. To avoid this, soak the berries and oats in the yogurt overnight.
Greek Yogurt As A Dip
When eating vegetables you can make a yogurt dip with a pinch of salt, dried herbs, and a squeeze of lemon juice. On the other hand, you can make a dip containing a mixture of peanut butter and yogurt while eating fruits like apples.
If your baby is still resisting eating yogurt, then there might be a medical issue, or they might just not like the taste of it.
Nonetheless, before feeding your baby different types of food, you should visit a nutritionist who may help you make the best decision for your little one.
How To Make Fruit Yogurts For Kids?
Fruit yogurts are the best way to Incorporate yogurt into your baby’s diet. In this way, you not only get the benefits of yogurt but also enjoy the nutritional value of fruits.
This is a general recipe used by mums to make fruit yogurts containing strawberries, mangoes, and yogurt:
- Wash the fruits and remove all the seeds and peel the mango. Though peeling is optional it may make it easier for your baby to swallow the fruits.
- Steam fruits to make them mashable.
- Use a blender to blend the fruits.
- Prepare yogurt and add the blended fruits over it.
Now you have a yummy serving of fruit yogurt that your little one will surely enjoy.
Ways To Serve Yogurt To Babies?
Once your baby is ready to eat solid snacks, you can add yogurt to their meals for a smooth transition from milk to finger snacks.
There are plenty of ways through which you can serve yogurt to your baby. Following is a list of ways usually used by parents:
- With Fruits: As mentioned above, yogurt can be served with mashed-up fruits in the form of fruit yogurt.
- As A Popsicle: Another fun way of doing this is by molding the frozen yogurt into a popsicle. This can easily be done by using popsicle molds.
- In the Form Of A Dip: Yogurt can be used as a dip for fruits and vegetables. To add a little bit of flavor to the yogurt, try to mix it with peanut butter or a little bit of lemon.
So, the next time you go to the store, do not forget to look for baby yogurt.
Tips To Make Babies Eat Yogurt?
Making babies eat yogurt can be a little challenging; the little ones are way too comfortable with their normal ways and do not like change whatsoever. Following is a list of tips that may help you to make your baby eats yogurt:
First Use Plain Yogurt
Though Greek yogurt is full of benefits, its taste might be a lot to handle for your baby. You should try to use plain yogurt first, as it has a little less milk protein and is more easily digested.
Use Organic Milk Yogurt
Using organic yogurt helps in avoiding any sort of complication.
Not Too Cold
Babies tend to like their snacks at a normal temperature, so let the yogurt warm up a little bit before feeding it to your baby.
Whole Full-Fat Yogurt
Allow your baby to enjoy the taste of whole milk yogurt, as it has all the nutrients your developing baby needs.
What Are The Safety Tips During BLW Using Yogurt?
Yogurt is a very safe and nutritious option for BLW, as it is not a common choking hazard. When using yogurt for BLW just make sure that the yogurt you are using is for babies.
This is because babies can have a hard time digesting regular yogurt, which can in turn make the whole BLW process harder.
Moreover, you should be aware of your baby’s allergies to avoid any complications. And when eating yogurt with vegetables and fruits, make sure that they are cut into small slices to avoid choking.
Lastly, you should always consult a medical professional before opting for any of these techniques because every child is different.
Babies start to eat solids around the age of 6 months. Transitioning from milk to solid foods can be a challenging task, as toddlers have a hard time adjusting to the new texture and flavor. This can be achieved through methods like baby-led weaning.
In the BLW method, baby’s meals shift from milk to finger foods directly while completely bypassing mashed-up foods.
Many parents offer yogurt to their babies when using this method because it is very safe and does not cause choking.
Yogurt for babies has a lot of benefits and can be easily added in the form of popsicles, dips, and fruit yogurts.
Different forms of yogurt like Greek yogurt, unsweetened plain yogurt, plant-based yogurt, and milk yogurt are of great nutritional value.
Other than dairy products, you can also use different kinds of foods for BLW. But before using the BLW method, make sure to consult pediatrics who may help you make the best decision.