Introduction of dairy products into the diet of babies under one year old still remains a subject of debate. The opinion, which was common among pediatricians a couple of decades ago, is now considered wrong. Today we introduce dairy products much later, than people used to.
Dairy products not to be given to babies
The following products are not recommended for children under 12 months.
- Cow’s milk
Don’t introduce cow’s milk into your baby’s diet before twelve months. It’s better not to give your baby cow’s milk before he is 2 years old. Milk contains only a small amount of vitamins and minerals, but a high fat content and high protein content, which makes it difficult for the baby’s body to digest the product. In addition, numerous studies clearly demonstrate that cow’s milk is allergenic and can provoke rashes on the skin, eczema, and even asthma. It is also proved that regular consumption of cow’s milk interferes with iron absorption, which can lead to anemia. Read more about cow’s milk for babies under 1 year.
The best substitute for milk during this period are adapted milk formulas. Milk can only be added to food in small quantities, for example, when cooking cereals. By the way, you can read about when to start feeding a baby cereal.
- Goat’s milk
You shouldn’t introduce Goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is even more fatty and rich in trace elements (especially in phosphorus) than cow’s. Goat’s milk is a very useful and valuable product, but not for kids under 2 years old. Goat’s milk can cause serious damage to the health of the child. Pediatricians recommend goat’s milk only to children after 2 — 3 years old, who suffer from underweight. Goat milk has a positive effect on the formation and strengthening of the skeletal system of the child after 3.
- Yoghurts with fruit additives.
Though standards of safety and quality prohibit manufacturers to produce dairy products for babies with artificial flavors, dyes and other additives, it’s better not to give fruit yoghurt to children under 12 months. In addition, even natural flavorings can cause a serious allergic reaction in a one-year-old child.
Nutritionists discovered that one cup of yogurt contains almost a daily allowance of sugar. 100−150 ml of fruit yoghurt contains almost 4 lumps of sugar. Fruit yoghurt also contains 3,3% of cow’s milk proteins, which exceeds the daily dose allowed to a child of this age. Proteins are hard to digest, so they can have a negative impact on the excretory system of the baby, in particular, on the kidneys.
Dairy products to be given to babies under 1 year old
- Natural sugarfree yoghurt for babies.
Sugarfree yoghurt can be given after introduction of cereals, fruit, vegetables and meat. You shouldn’t introduce yoghurt until 8 or 9 months. Be careful, yoghurt has a lot of casein — milk protein. Casein often causes allergies. In addition, yogurt contains large amounts of organic acids and mineral salts, so its consumption will increase the burden on the baby’s kidneys and digestive system. Premature introduction of yogurt into the diet can cause diarrhea, allergies, and the development of serious forms of anemia. Begin with small portions of 20-ml, which can be gradually increased to 200 ml a day. More than 200 ml can be harmful.
- Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is highly beneficial for the child’s body, because it is a great source of calcium and phosphorus in optimal proportions. Cottage cheese also contains vitamins of groups B and PP. You can introduce cottage cheese into your baby’s diet at 9 months. Cottage cheese is better digested in the afternoon. The portion of cottage cheese should not exceed 50 grams a day.
Proteins in cheese are much easier to digest than proteins from whole milk, so cheese can be a very useful dairy product for children older than 1.5 years. You can start giving cheese in small portions already at 10−12 months. Give only neutral varieties without sharp smell and taste. Soft unripe cheeses are ok for feeding babies. The cheese must not be salty or spicy.
Butter in small quantities is perfect the child’s body. Butter can be added to the main dish, for example, to the porridge or mashed potatoes. Butter is rich in vitamins A and E. Butter should be introduced in very small portions. Begin with some grams and give your baby butter in the morning for better digestion.
How to choose dairy products for babies?
Milk and dairy products are a source of valuable vitamins and minerals, so necessary to babies under one year. They prevent dysbiosis and constipation, improve immunity and strengthen the skeletal system and teeth. To ensure that dairy products won’t do harm to your kid, be careful while choosing.
Give your baby only special dairy products for kids, because they are adapted to the needs of the baby’s body and pass very strict quality control. Avoid products in damaged packages.