Yogurt in winters- Is it safe for your toddler?
Created by Chayanika Sen Updated on Dec 09, 2017
Yes, yogurt is quite safe for your toddler during winters. In fact, yogurt is a must have item for toddlers during winters. Considering its nutritional value, yogurt is considered to be an essential inclusion in a toddler's diet regime.
What All Care I Need To Take Before Giving Yogurt To My Toddler?
Curd is very healthy and nutritious for infants and toddlers but few cautions should be exercised at the time of serving it especially during winter season.
- Timing matters a lot: It is important to ensure that little ones are served a bowl of yogurt during daytime and it should be avoided at night. Curd consumed at night or late evening is said to produce mucus and may be harmful to toddlers suffering from asthma or allergies
- Serve at an optimum temperature: It is also noteworthy that curd should not be served chilled but at room temperature. In case it is refrigerated, it can be micro waved for a few seconds before serving or left out to come to room temperature
- Whole milk curd is more beneficial: Whole milk should be considered for preparing curd for young babies. Fat element of whole milk helps in development of brain and vision of growing children
- Avoid sugar for your little one: Toddlers should be given yogurt with very little or no sugar. It can be mixed with fruits to prepare a smoothie or salted and peppered
What Are The Benefits Of Yogurt Regularly?
Yogurt is packed with essential nutrients for growing children and its health advantages are manifold. Its consumption is recommended across all seasons including winters by paediatricians and is backed up with scientific reasons. Advantages accruing due to regular consumption of yogurt in children are discussed below.
- Immunity boosting properties: Curd or yogurt is fermented and contains good bacteria. These good bacteria not only fight infections but also strengthen the immunity system. It is known for boosting gut bacteria in toddlers and this is directly linked to healing their body from the very roots. The content of lactic acid in yogurt acts as a preventive measure against dysentery, diarrhea, inflammations and infections in the stomach
- Fight against cold: Little ones are more prone to catching cough and cold as winters set in. Good bacteria present in yogurt prevent these ailments by fighting the bacteria causing them. Yogurt is fermented and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and works wonders in fighting cold and cough. Studies have revealed that a cup of yogurt taken every day may reduce a toddler's susceptibility to colds.
- Probiotics:Homemade yogurt also contains friendly bacteria called probiotics which bolsters immunity system and helps in preventing secondary infections from cold
- Eases digestion of food: It is very common for our little babies to develop gas or colic pains during their toddler years. Yogurt helps in maintaining Ph balance in the body, thereby easing the process of digestion. It also helps in coping up with stomach problems and constipation
- Lactic acid: There is also a content of lactic acid in fermented yogurt. Lactic acid is known to neutralise acidity and reduce irritation in the stomach. Studies have proved that infants of the age group of 6 months to 24 months suffering from severe or moderate diarrhea recover faster when standard treatment is coupled up with intake of yogurt
- Strengthening bones: Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus and is of great help in strengthening bones. Toddler's diet has to comprise of sufficient dairy products so that their calcium requirements are taken care of
- Strong bones: In winters even small wounds and falls hurt more. Intake of curd leads to strong bones and reduces proneness of toddlers to feel pain
- Keeps skin moisturised: Dry skin is a very common problem encountered in winters. Regular intake of curd keeps skin well moisturised and glowing. Lactobacillus bacteria present in yogurt does not allow the toddlers skin to get chapped
- Enhanced absorption: Yogurt enhances capacity of the toddler's body to absorb essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients present in the food they consume
- Rich source of other essentials: Apart from the multiple benefits yogurt has, it also provides the essential minerals and vitamins required by a growing baby's body. It is a rich source of Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, niacin, folate and thiamine. The minerals present include potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, zinc, iron and sodium. Good bacteria present in yogurt also strengthens the nervous system
Why Should You Avoid Yogurt During Winters?
In spite of all the advantages reaped by toddlers due to consumption of Yogurt, there is a different school of thought which says yogurt should not be consumed during winters. Ayurveda considers yogurt to be cold inherently and discourages its intake by children during winters. Yogurt consumed at night time or when refrigerated may increase secretions in the body thereby leading to mucous generation and blockages in the nasal system.
As a parent one should observe how the toddler's system responds to yogurt and then decide accordingly. Any signs of intolerance or allergies should be discussed with paediatrician immediately.
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