My toddler is still hit or miss when it comes to yogurt and she vastly prefers the kind that comes in tubes. That said, I am always trying new ways to entice her to try it from a regular container since it tends to be both healthier and less expensive. It's a great source of calcium (better even than milk), rich in protein, and it has probiotics, which can be good for little bellies. And the full-fat kind is good for brain development, which is crucial for our little ones under aged 2, and it just tastes good.
Here are our favorite recipe ideas to serve yogurt to toddlers, from morning to night. Most are suggestions that you can tailor to your own family's preferences, though I did give specific amounts where ratios of flavors or ingredients are important. And when I say "yogurt" I mean full-fat plain yogurt unless otherwise indicated.
1. Maple Tahini Dipping Sauce
Combine 1 cup plain yogurt with 2 tablespoons tahini, the juice of half of a small lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Serve as a dip for crackers, cucumbers, or any other veggie your toddler loves. (This is also good drizzled over rice!)
2. Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
This simple mixture of yogurt, coconut, and oats gets a burst of brightness from blueberries and is a great make-ahead breakfast option.
3. Blueberry Yogurt Panna Cotta (aka, yogurt jello!) (shown at top)
Stir together 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or Siggis, which is thick and low in added sugar) with 1 tablespoon whole fruit blueberry jam. Dissolve 1 packet (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) gelatin over 1/2 cup whole milk in a wide bowl for 2-3 minutes. Warm another 1/2 cup milk until boiling, about 1 minute in the microwave. Pour hot milk over milk-gelatin and whisk to dissolve. Stir into yogurt mixture until smooth. Pour into 1/2 pint mason jars or other small bowls. Let set at least 2 hours before serving cold. Makes about 6 servings
4. Yogurt Fruit Smoothie
Add yogurt the next time you make a smoothie. We like 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup fruit as a basic method—thinned as necessary with a little water or juice—with nut butter, honey, and a small amount of spinach or kale as optional add ins.
5. Kiddo Yogurt and Granola Bowl (above)
Pulse your favorite granola briefly in the food processor to break it down into smaller pieces (or use a mortar and pestle) and serve over plain yogurt with sliced berries or diced fruit.
6. Salsa Yogurt Dip
Mix equal parts plain yogurt with salsa and serve as a dip for quesadillas, tortilla strips, crackers, or veggies. (Yogurt is much higher in protein than sour cream, which basically has none.)
7. Strawberry Greek Frozen Yogurt
Made with fresh berries, honey, lemon juice, and thick yogurt, this easy recipe is nutritious, low in sugar, and tastes really refreshing. You can also pour the mix into popsicle molds and skip the ice cream maker.
8. Fresh Fruit Yogurt
Use a food processor to puree 1 cup fresh fruit such as berries or mango and sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup. Stir into plain yogurt for naturally sweetened fruit flavor.
9. Stir into Soups
Trade plain Greek yogurt for sour cream to top chili, bean soups, or other Mexican foods for more nutrition and similar flavor and texture.
10. 3-Ingredient Almond Butter Banana Pops (above)
Mash one ripe or over-ripe banana and combine with 1 cup of plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons peanut butter, and freeze in popsicle molds.
11. Cocoa Yogurt Cup
Thoroughly combine 1/2 cup plain or lower sugar vanilla yogurt with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey. Serve chilled.
12. Whipped Squash with Yogurt
Serve this fluffy breakfast for snack option plain or topped with granola, crisp rice cereal, or some small seeds such as chia or sesame.
13. Yogurt Pancakes
Substitute 1/4-1/2 cup plain yogurt for milk in your favorite pancake recipe.
14. Banana Yogurt Icebox Cake
Layer vanilla yogurt with crushed graham crackers and sliced bananas either in single serve 1/2 pint mason jars or a 9-inch cake plate. Let sit for at least 4 hours before serving.
15. Yogurt Oatmeal Bowl
Serve leftover and chilled oatmeal stirred into yogurt and drizzled with honey for a whole new morning meal.
(Check out the first posts in this series, 15 Shortcut Toddler Dinners, here.)