Yogurt or curd is a calcium-rich super food for children, and these Healthy Yogurt Recipes for Babies and Kids are perfect for meals, snacks or dessert!
Yogurt, also known as curd in India, is something widely consumed in Indian homes. We’ve come up with all kinds of ways to have it, which have given rise to iconic dishes like curd rice, Mishti Doi and of course, lassi!
Yogurt is made by the fermenting of milk, using cultures that contain lactose fermenting bacteria like Lactobacillus. The fermentation process releases lactic acid, which curdles the milk giving us yogurt. Although yogurt is essentially milk in terms of ingredients, its health benefits multiply thanks to the fermentation process. Yogurt contains protein, calcium, phosphorous and Vitamin B12, among other nutrients. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of yogurt, especially for children.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
- Like milk, yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, with a single cup providing half the day’s requirement of calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth
- Yogurt is a great source of non-animal protein, with 12 grams of protein in 100 grams of yogurt
- One cup of yogurt provides a good amount of the RDA of many essential micronutrients like potassium, phosphorous and magnesium – all of which are crucial for important body functions like metabolism
- A great advantage of yogurt over milk is the presence of probiotics, which improve gut health and digestive function. As a result, this is a great food for digestive issues like constipation and antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- The probiotic property of yogurt along with nutrients like selenium, zinc and magnesium are known to improve immune function, reducing the chances of contracting illnesses like the common cold
- Having a diet rich in yogurt has been shown to reduce the risk of developing inflammatory conditions like eczema and food sensitivities
- Thanks to its inherent satiety-inducing effects, yogurt is a great snack for children, and reduces the risk of childhood obesity
You can read more about the benefits of yogurt in this study. Yogurt can be made from full fat milk or skim milk. Another popular version of yogurt is Greek yogurt, which is what you get when you strain regular yogurt. The result is a thick yogurt that is higher in protein than the unstrained version.
Yogurt and Lactose Intolerance
Since yogurt is a dairy product, a common doubt is whether lactose intolerant children can have yogurt. However, yogurt and milk are not the same, although they have the same source. During fermentation, some of the lactose in the milk is broken down, making it easier to digest even for the lactose intolerant. Since Greek yogurt is made by straining regular yogurt, it has even less lactose and is easier to digest than regular yogurt. The good bacteria in it also improve overall digestion.
If you have a child with lactose intolerant, it is a good idea to start small and see how the child takes it. Gradually increase the quantity when you know the child has no trouble digesting yogurt. If she still has an intolerance, she may display symptoms like abdominal pain, gassiness, bloating or diarrhea.
There are many kinds of yogurt available in the market today, and you’ll find various flavors too. Unfortunately, while they may be convenient, commercial yogurt is often flavored with artificial ingredients and are also high in sugar and preservatives. Instead, make your own yogurt, and if that gets too boring, check out these healthy yogurt recipes for babies and older children, which the whole family will enjoy!
50 Healthy Yogurt Recipes for Babies and Kids
Let’s start with the basics – a simple, plain, unflavored homemade curd that even a beginner can make! I know many homes where they never buy curd, since setting curd has become an indispensable part of household chores. There’s nothing like freshly homemade curd, especially if it’s set in an earthen pot!
If you like to give your baby something a little exotic and out of the ordinary, try this kiwi flavored yogurt. Kiwi fruit has become more available and affordable, and Indians are now using it in many traditional recipes too. Introduce your baby to this interesting flavor with this recipe.
There’s nothing like feasting on a juicy mango in the middle of a hot summer! Mangoes are inherently cooling, and now you can increase the refreshment factor by combining it with another cooling food – yogurt! This is a must try recipe when mangoes are in season – the lovely color of the yogurt is an added bonus!
Bananas are often the first fruit babies have, since they’re soft, easily digested and naturally sweet. That’s why this makes a great addition to plain yogurt, so it tastes delicious without the need to add any extra sweetener!
If you’d like a healthy little treat for your baby on Valentine’s Day, try out this strawberry yogurt recipe. The strawberries add a nice sweet and tart flavor to the yogurt, while giving it that lovely pink color. For older babies, add some strawberry chunks to bite on.
Pineapple and yogurt is a combination we normally reserve for raitha, but it makes an excellent snack for your baby too! Pineapples are naturally sweet and juicy, and they go well with yogurt for a truly refreshing summer snack.
Have you ever tried grape yogurt? It’s delicious! We also love how the color of the grapes transfers to the yogurt, and this is something all kids will love – not just babies! Be sure to choose sweet seedless grapes to make this yogurt safe for little ones.
This is one snack that’s so yummy, you’ll find yourself popping a couple into your mouth while feeding your baby! These are great finger foods for babies learning to master the pincer grasp, and the overall creaminess of the bite will be a delight in their mouth.
Peanut butter is a universal kiddie favorite, and it’s also an excellent food for many reasons. It is packed with protein and can aid in healthy weight gain. Let your baby have these benefits of peanut butter with this recipe from Baby Foode. Make your own peanut butter at home to avoid the preservatives in commercial versions.
Chia pudding is a word that’s become quite popular and if you thought it was something very complicated, don’t worry! Chia pudding is ridiculously simple to make, and this one with bananas and yogurt will be an instant hit with your little one.
You don’t need to wait for Independence Day or Republic Day to make this tricolor parfait, although those would be ideal occasions for it! This is a great dish to help your little one get in a good amount of fruits along with refreshing yogurt.
Yes, even little ones can have quinoa, and this curd quinoa is a great way to get in some good quality probiotics too! If your baby has trouble passing stools, this is a good dish since it has lots of dietary fiber along with digestion-boosting probiotics.
Don’t have access to Greek yogurt? No problem – all you need is regular curd. Hang it and there you go, you have what is as good as thick, creamy Greek yogurt, and when combined with strawberries, it’s a winner!
Ah, khichdi, the ultimate comfort food! It’s also a great option for little babies, since it’s easy to eat and digest, and you can pack in as much nutrition as you want. This one contains carrots and yogurt, making it a complete balanced meal for little babies.
While we’re on the subject of khichdi, have you noticed how curd and coriander make the perfect combination? Together they create something that’s cooling and refreshing and perfect for a hot summer afternoon. This is a light meal that won’t make your baby feel sluggish or cranky.
It’s okay if your little one isn’t ready for biryani – she can have this yogurt chicken puree from Mom Junction instead! Once your child has been introduced to chicken, you can go ahead and add some yogurt into the puree to make it creamier, tastier and of course, more nutritious!
When it’s hot you automatically crave ice cream, so why should your baby be deprived of this frozen treat? Twin Mom Refreshed doesn’t think she should, which is why we have this yummy and simple yogurt pop recipe! Get Popsicle makers with handles that are easy for babies to grab and hold.
This recipe from Eats Amazing is honestly the perfect healthy snack for the whole family! You don’t need any sugar or sweetener since the bananas themselves are so sweet. This is a great finger food for teething babies to soothe their swollen gums.
Who says babies can’t have pizza? Even if you’re not feeding your little one cheese yet, she can most certainly have this yogurt pizza from Feeding Bytes! Add anything else your baby will eat as topping and you’ve got a custom baby pizza ready!
This is a great recipe from Baby Led Feeding that’s ideal for older babies and toddlers. We even think this would make a great pick for a dessert table at a party – they look so pretty! This recipe requires a little more effort than the others, but we think the result is totally worth it.
(The recipes listed below are suitable for children over the age of 1 year)
Smoothies are the easiest ways resolve and prevent nutritional deficiencies in picky eaters. This immunobooster smoothie is our pick since it contains the Little Moppet Foods Immunobooster mix along with the naturally immunity boosting pumpkin and yogurt.
Overnight oats is a favorite with busy Moms, since it completely frees up your mornings. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to eat breakfast – no one will refuse when breakfast tastes like dessert, thanks to this recipe from Yummy Toddler Food!
Now this is a snack you’ll enjoy looking at as much as eating it! All you need is homemade plain yogurt and fresh fruits of your choice. Go with your kids’ favorite fruits mixed in with one they don’t like much and they won’t even realize they’re eating so many fruits!
Got a kid who refuses to eat fruits? This recipe is a great way to fix that problem, as they’ll only think they’re having something like an ice cream sundae! Make the most of this opportunity and sneak in a good amount of fruit and nuts!
How decadent does this yogurt parfait look? It’s hard to believe that this is actually healthy and nutritious and your kids will be surprised when you ask them to finish up the whole thing! A great way to get chocolate lovers to eat some fruit they avoid.
If you think making ice cream at home is too difficult, no problem – just try this frozen yogurt recipe from Just a Taste! It takes all of 5 minutes to make, and you’ll be delighted at how well it freezes and sets – better than ice cream!
Pizza always gets a bad rap, and it’s not surprising, considering it comes loaded with fat, too many carbohydrates and too little protein and micronutrients. However, this pizza from What Moms Love is completely the opposite, as it’s loaded with protein, fiber and of course heaps of flavor!
Kids are quirky – they’ll refuse a food when served on a plate, but serve it up on a skewer and it immediately becomes more attractive! A Mom’s Take knows this which is why they’ve been smart and skewered some fruits as kababs and coated them with yogurt!
No one can say no to some rich, creamy pudding and it’s the perfect sweet comfort food. This one from First & Full takes it a notch higher on the health level, since it uses yogurt and bananas, which bring a natural creaminess to the recipe.
Buddha bowls and smoothie bowls are all the rage these days, and that’s why this Happy Veggie Kitchen is very much in style now! It’s so easy to customize this bowl any way your child likes, but we love the classic combination of banana, peanut butter and yogurt.
We’re still on the peanut butter train here, with a recipe from Figgin Delicious! Does it have peanut butter? Does it have chocolate? Is it frozen? This is one recipe that checks all the right boxes!
Pancakes are among the easiest things to make for busy morning breakfasts, and they’re also quick to put together for a snack. Happy Family Organics shows us how to make them healthier by using yogurt. The acids in the yogurt help make these pancakes fluffier and softer.
If you have trouble getting your child to eat a particular fruit or vegetable, there’s an easy solution. Make it into a muffin! Muffins can be sweet or savory, and these yogurt muffins are a great example of how to sneak some fruit into them.
Have you noticed that many recipes ask to use buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt instead of milk when baking? This is because the acids in these foods work to make the end product fluffier and softer – as in the case with these muffins from PB Fingers!
If your family enjoys having some cake with their afternoon tea, this recipe from The Clever Meal is a must try. The yogurt in the cake makes it irresistibly soft and you’ll have everyone asking for a second slice!
Risotto is something we think of as a savory food, but this one from Allison Day is on the sweet side, and is more like a rice pudding. With apple, nuts and yogurt, this is a dessert food that’s packed with flavor and crunch, not to mention some lovely creaminess!
37. Gopalkala Recipe
Generally made during Janmashtami, this recipe is a fun and colorful way to get kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is an attestation to the power of yogurt, that it can bring together pomegranate, apple and cucumber in a way that feels so natural!
Who says you need to use fatty and unhealthy spreads like mayonnaise to make sandwiches? You can make a creamy sandwich filling that tastes just as good, without any unhealthy calories. Just use hung curd and you’ll have a healthy spread that has a texture very similar to mayonnaise.
39. Curd Fritters
Don’t have anything to make pakoras or fritters out of? As long as you have curd or dahi, you don’t have a problem! These curd fritters go very well with a steaming hot cup of masala chai, especially on rainy afternoons when the whole family is indoors.
Chaat is something that appeals to people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors! Don’t worry, we aren’t asking you to go to the unhygienic spot in your neighborhood – you can make equally delicious and much healthier chaat right at home, from scratch!
When we think of mac and cheese, we think of perfectly cooked macaroni brimming in a sea of cheese. You could of course make it healthier by skipping the cheese, but then the entire dish would change! Keep the fun of the dish intact by using yogurt instead, as shown in Running in a Skirt.
Kids are notorious for constantly asking for snacks, and more often than not these snacks require something to dip into. You could buy a dip from the store, but the ingredient list will make you dizzy! Instead, try healthy dips like this one from Happy Healthy Mama, made using yogurt.
43. Yogurt Brownies
You’ve seen how we use yogurt to make muffins and cakes, but did you know that it works just as well with brownies? Well, Easy Family Recipe Ideas has a recipe that proves this is right, and you won’t have to sacrifice that delicious chocolatey flavor or that beautiful fudgy texture.
Drink Milk has a yummy waffle recipe that uses yogurt to add some extra crunch on the outside and softness on the inside. If you don’t have a waffle maker, that’s okay. Just use a waffle baking mould and bake in your regular oven.
Granola bars or energy bars are an excellent snack for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. They’re compact, can be made ahead and can include a variety of healthy ingredients. Half Baked Harvest has a delicious bar recipe that uses a yogurt dressing that makes it even better!
Besides energy bars, another healthy snack you can make with granola are these granola cups from Buzzfeed. They look cuter than bars, making them a great item to serve at a kiddie party. They’ll only think they’re eating a cupcake version of ice cream!
Banana split for breakfast? Are we living in an upside down world? Not really, as Happi Homemade shows us, a banana split can be made in many ways, like this one for example! Serve a dish like this for breakfast, and you can ensure your picky eater doesn’t pick anything out of the plate!
Baker by Nature has a homemade choco bar recipe that uses yogurt and is super delicious! You may need special Pop moulds for this one, but trust me, the purchase is completely worth it as you make this over and over again!
Sometimes kids get bored with the same old idli-dosa-upma-poha for breakfast. If that’s the case in your home, change things up a bit with this yummy and interesting breakfast recipe from A Hundred Affections!
Most kids aren’t fond of salads, since seeing a pile of vegetables in a bowl can be overwhelming. However, this one from Graceful Little Honey Bee is different, since it has a yogurt dressing that gives it a creamy appearance, making it instantly more appealing!