Introducing Yogurt

Introducing Yogurt
Q:
Introducing Yogurt

My baby is 9 months old and has eczema. Is it okay to give her yogurt?

A:

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Nine months is okay for yogurt for most babies. Yogurt is a wonderful food. It is rich in calcium, and the active cultures have many health benefits. Kids with a strong family history of milk-protein allergies (not just lactose intolerance) may want to wait, however.

There have been a few studies suggesting that yogurt helps eczema and other similar conditions. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt seem to help by bringing the immune system to a good, middle level of alertness. It boosts immunity if it is low, and calms the immune system down if it is overexuberant.

As with any new food, the best way to tell if your child is allergic is to only introduce one new food at a time over a three- to five-day period, then watch for any symptoms: tummy upset, worsening rash, crankiness. Start your child with about two to four ounces a day. There are some yogurts designed specially for babies–it’s wonderful. (I sometimes eat it as a treat for myself!) Some yogurts are nonfat or low-fat–good for adults, but the full-fat is best for babies. For a low sugar alternative to flavored yogurts, try mixing plain yogurt with a small amount of baby food fruit or pureed fresh fruit.

Reviewed by: Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, Rebecca Hicks
Last reviewed: August 12, 2011
Dr. Alan Greene

Article written by

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

 

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