We buy it in plain and flavoured varieties, with separate toppings or layered with fruit puree - yet with yogurt gaining popularity as a nutritious snack for the whole family do you really know the benefits of eating yogurt?
How is it made?
Yogurt is a dairy product that is made by fermenting milk. It’s so simple to make it can even be made at home!
- Pasteurised milk is incubated and then harmless bacteria are added. The bacteria converts naturally occurring milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid, which causes the milk to thicken.
- The yogurt is left to settle until it reaches its desired level of acidity. Then it is cooled down and fruit or flavourings are added.
Some types of cultures in yogurt are good for our gut health and can help improve lactose digestion of yogurt in those who have difficulty digesting lactose.
When can yogurt be introduced to my child’s diet?
Toddlers need a lot of their energy to come from fat sources - whole milk yogurt and fromage frais can provide them with energy, essential to support their rapid growth. Yogurt provides calcium and iodine for growth and development. It also provides protein and phosphorous which are both needed for normal bone development in children.
Yogurt at school
Yogurt can be added to your kids packed lunch boxes, it’s a great treat and can provide essential nutrients, protein and calcium, for growth and development.
Teenagers can also add it to their packed lunch box, or eat it ‘on the go’ as a drink or in a homemade smoothie. It’s important for teens to consume nutrient rich foods that provide plenty of calcium, protein and phosphorus for their developing bones and muscles. Having a good diet in teenage years promotes healthy bones for later in adult life. Unfortunately many teenagers, particularly girls, fall short of their recommended intake of nutrients, including calcium.
Adults & Older people
Just because you have stopped growing doesn’t mean you should stop consuming nutrient rich foods. Adults and older people still need to maintain their calcium and protein intake to keep bones and muscles healthy!
At all stages in life, for those who are sporty, yogurt contains nutrients that play a practical role after exercise.
Some types of yogurt are particularly high in protein and are becoming more and more popular for refuelling after sport. Yogurt is an excellent choice as it contains nutrients which are particularly important for those engaged in all levels of sport and physical activity. Its high quality protein can contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
The Dairy Council is a non-profit organisation with a remit to provide evidence-based information on how to include milk and dairy products in a healthy, balanced diet. If you would like some further information you can download resources for all life stages via: http://www.milk.co.uk/consumers/publications/default.aspx Or if you would like to request a print copy, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org