The nutritional benefits of yoghurt for kids

Struggling to get your picky eater to eat a balanced meal? Yoghurt is a fun way of making sure he gets all the essential nutrients he needs to grow.

As parents, we always look for something that is convenient to serve, tasty for kids and packed with healthy vitamins to keep our little one growing.

Benefits of yoghurt

Yoghurt is made with both milk and live cultures, which have been proven to assist in creating a healthy gut and a better digestive environment. It also contains calcium and protein, naturally coming from milk.

The new Danone Disney range has been boosted with a source of vitamins B12 and D – essential nutrients needed by growing children every day.

How often should kids eat dairy?

The South African Food Based Dietary Guidelines recognises dairy products as being an essential part of a balanced diet for kids and recommends that milk, maas or yoghurt be eaten every day.

ALSO SEE: How much should my child eat? Here’s a handy guide to portion sizes for toddlers

Nutritionist, researcher and PhD candidate at UNISA’s Life and Consumer Sciences Department Lebogang Matshego-Roda notes that yoghurt may play an important role in addressing the nutrition gap of South African children – missing nutrients include calcium, vitamins A and D as well as the B vitamins.

If your little one is not already a yoghurt eater, creative parenting expert Nikki Bush has some excellent tips on how to introduce this to her diet.

  • As yoghurt is so versatile it can be a fun food – use it as a dip for fruit, vegetables and pita breads.
  • Dish a small portion onto the plate alongside a food they like. Keep doing this – research shows parents give up after five tries of exposing their children to new food, but children need up to 15 introductions before they accept and enjoy it.
  • Use yoghurt to create funny faces on a plate.
  • Involve your child in the preparation of food – shop together and let them choose their favourite fruits – then make yoghurt fruit smoothies or frozen yoghurt ice lollies together.
  • Small yoghurt pots are so easy to pack into their lunch boxes, and how about a tzatziki dip and pita bread for a fun change? You could also serve yoghurt as dessert.

ALSO SEE: What exactly is a balanced diet for kids?

Join a Million Moms Pledge for Healthy Change

This new SA campaign is centred on simple solutions to help moms achieve better nutrition for their families. The Pledge can be found at and involves five simple but effective actions for moms to commit to:

  1. Eat more vegetables and fruit every day
  2. Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day
  3. Eat breakfast every day
  4. Drink more water every day
  5. Move more every day.
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