Confused by the ever-growing yogurt aisle in the grocery store? Me too, which is why I put together a list of the best yogurts for babies and toddlers—those that are low in added sugars, but still taste great! Plus: You’ll find yummiest ways to naturally flavor plain yogurt.
Yogurt for Babies
Yogurt is a great baby food and toddler food as it’s filled with nutrients little kids need. This includes protein, calcium, and probiotics. It’s also easy to eat, whether served from a spoon or in a reusable pouch and is so easy to customize.
It’s a versatile food for almost any meal of the day and is often served for breakfast and snack.
But because there are just so many options available now, it can be confusing to choose a yogurt at the store. This post is meant to take some of the confusion out of the choices and help you make a decision more easily.
What kind of yogurt should I give my baby?
The best yogurt for babies is actually fairly straight forward. Here’s what to look for:
- Made with whole milk
- Is plain, rather than flavored
- Is free from added sugars (which is the case with plain yogurt, though it does contain natural sugars)
- Has a mild flavor and creamy texture (there’s so much flavor variation so some yogurts may be very tangy)
- Is organic, if that fits your budget
- Can be either regular style or thicker Greek style
There’s a wide range of flavors and consistencies in yogurt, so if your baby or toddler doesn’t like one you try, consider buying a different brand next time and see if it’s better.
And if you’re shopping for yogurt using WIC benefits, look for a whole milk plain option with a brand and container size that’s approved by your state program.
When can a baby eat yogurt?
A baby can eat plain whole milk yogurt at 6 months, or whenever they start solid foods. Follow the same advice when trying this food out as others and know that while cow’s milk is too hard for a baby to digest, yogurt is often much easier on the tummy.
It has beneficial probiotics too, which are healthy for the immune system and the digestive tract.
Whole Milk Yogurt
Babies and toddlers need fat for proper brain development, so it’s important to choose yogurt (and other dairy products) made with whole milk. Yogurt will be labeled as “whole milk yogurt” or 4% or 5% yogurt, so keep that in mind when choosing yogurt for your baby and toddler.
There is also a huge range of flavor profiles of plain whole milk yogurt, so you may need to try a few to find the one that you and your baby like best.
I prefer Stonyfield and the European Style plain yogurt from Trader Joes in the red and white cartons. I also love Kalona yogurt with the cream top—just stir the cream into the yogurt so there’s thickness and fat throughout.
Greek Yogurt for Babies
If you’d like to serve Greek yogurt to your baby or toddler, that is an option. There are a few things to keep in mind though. First, it can be a little harder to digest (since it contains so much protein), so start with a small serving to see how your kiddo does with it.
It also has a much thicker texture which may or may not be a hit with your kiddo—though it can also be easier to eat with a spoon since it will be less likely to slide right off.
And again, look for a whole milk (often labeled 4%) version to ensure that your child is getting the fats that they need. There is a range of flavors in Greek yogurt too, so try a few to find one your family enjoys.
Fruit Yogurt for Babies
While there is a whole market of fruit-flavored yogurts for babies and toddlers, I still prefer to mostly rely on the plain kind so we can control the amounts of added sugars and how overtly sweet the yogurt tastes. That said, these are great options too:
- Stonyfield does make some baby yogurt without added sugars (though I have yet to see them in my area!) and they make a plain version of their baby yogurt.
- Siggi’s makes a no-added sugar yogurt and yogurt tubes with lower amounts of added sugars.
- Simply Go-Gurt also has less sugar and ingredients than other similar yogurt tubes.
- Happy Family makes whole milk yogurt flavored with just fruit or fruit and veggies.
- Redwood Farms makes a nice tasting goat milk yogurt which may be easier to digest.
- Green Valley makes a delicious lactose-free yogurt. (I lived on this while I was pregnant with my girls and having trouble with regular yogurt.)
TIP: You can also make your own Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt. It’s SO easy.
The Best Yogurt For Toddlers
The best yogurt for toddlers is the same as the best yogurt for babies—plain whole milk yogurt. It has all the same benefits and is easy to customize for your kiddo. Though of course feel free to add flavor from fruit, nut butter, honey, maple syrup and more.
It may also be worth saying that many daycares serve flavored yogurts and many kids, as they get older, may prefer flavored yogurts. It’s totally fine if either happens because our overall diet is defined by more than just one food. Yogurt still has benefits, even if it’s a little sweet.
How to Flavor Plain Yogurt
I love to buy plain whole milk yogurt and to add flavor to it myself since there are so many easy options. Here are some stir-ins that we like:
- Applesauce or Apple Puree
- Diced fruit
- Diced berries
- Hemp seeds
- Maple syrup or honey (avoid honey for babies under age 1)
- Pureed pumpkin
- Butternut squash puree (cooled)
- Roasted sweet potato puree (cooled)
- All-fruit jam or preserves
- Chia Jam
- Leftover baby food purees
- Nut or seed butter
- Mashed banana or banana puree
- Baby food fruit purees like Pear Puree, Mango Puree, or Strawberry Puree
TIP: Try a few small servings of yogurt with these mix ins to see what your kids like. Scroll down for specifics on portions and amounts to mix.
When will my toddler be able to eat yogurt with a spoon?
Learning to scoop and get foods into little mouths is definitely a learning process, so don’t worry if your two year old still makes a mess of things when they eat with a spoon. The most important thing is that they have the chance to practice their spoon skills, so offer it and understand that they still may use their hands…since that’s often a more effective method!
I love to offer yogurt in a reusable pouch (shown above) at times and in bowls at other times. Both are great ways to serve yogurt to both babies and toddlers.
What’s the best nondairy yogurt?
There are so many good ones now, so you may need to try a few to find one that your family prefers. There are nondairy yogurts made from soy, almond milk, coconut milk, and goat milk so you’ll have to try a few to see which ones have the best flavor.
There are also many lactose-free yogurt options to help those who may be lactose intolerant.
Nutritionally, I still recommend looking for brands that use less added sugars and finding one with protein—the amounts will vary a lot. People seem to love the newer options from Kite Hill and the plant-based yogurts from Siggis, which are now widely available.
If you don’t see many options in your store, you can ask the dairy manager if they could get in others for you to try.
Homemade Yogurt Recipes to Try
Here are some of my go-to recipes for making flavored yogurts at home. Each is easy, flavorful, and perfect to share with the kids.
Best Tips for Yogurt for Babies and Toddlers
- Look for whole milk, plain yogurt.
- Choose regular or Greek style.
- If trying Greek yogurt for the first time, start with a small amount to ensure that it’s easy for baby to digest. (It has a lot of protein which may require some getting used to.)
- Look for a whole milk plain yogurt if shopping with WIC benefits. The brands and container size approved in your state may vary.
- Try adding flavor to plain yogurt with fruit purees, diced fruit, nut or seed butter, or jam.
- Remember that babies can start eating yogurt soon after starting solids, or around 6 months. Straight cow’s milk should be avoided until baby is over 12 months of age since that is harder to digest.
- You may also like Yogurt Muffins, Yogurt Pancakes, Apples for Babies, and Easy Homemade Baby Food.
Do you have any additional questions about yogurt? Please comment below and I’ll be happy to provide additional info!
This post was first published June 2018.
Best Yogurt for Babies and Toddlers (Recipes + Tips)
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- Plus one or more of these add-ins
Add-ins (choose one)
- 1/4 cup applesauce, Apple Puree, mashed banana or Banana Puree, Butternut Squash Puree (cooled), Pumpkin Puree, Roasted sweet potato puree (cooled), Pear Puree, Mango Puree, Strawberry Puree, or any other leftover baby food puree you have
- 1/4 cup diced fruit or berries
- 1 teaspoon nut or seed butter
- 1/2-1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey, all-fruit jam or preserves, or Chia Jam (avoid honey for babies under age 1)
- Add the yogurt to a bowl.
- Add desired add-ins and stir well.
- Serve or store for later.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Stir before serving if the mixture has separated at all.
- Adjust sweetness as needed with maple syrup, honey (for babies over age 1) or a fruit puree.
- Use regular whole milk plain yogurt or Greek style.
- Try any flavors with a plain nondairy yogurt as needed.
- Our favorite combos are yogurt and applesauce, yogurt and roasted sweet potato, and yogurt and mango puree.
- Serve in a bowl or in a reusable pouch (skip chunks of fruit if using a reusable pouch so the food doesn’t get stuck).