Combining fruit and yogurt using the Squeeze Station is a deliciously easy way to introduce your infant or toddler to the flavor and health benefits of yogurt at an early age. This Strawberry Banana Yogurt recipe is a sweet, simple, and nutritious one to start you off. Who knows, soon enough you may even find you’ve created a little yogurt-lover!
Why do we get so excited about yogurt? It offers a significant helping of calcium, which is very important for early bone development. Not only is creamy, tangy yogurt high in calcium, protein, and other vitamins and minerals — it’s also rich in probiotics.
Probiotics are essential but often overlooked nutrients, and yogurt is one of the best sources for infants and toddlers. Probiotics (also referred to as live cultures) promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, and aid in digestion. Some studies suggest the probiotics in yogurt may even help with conditions like eczema. These helpful live cultures are actually used to convert milk into yogurt, and manufacturers often add more of them into the yogurt afterwards, to ensure maximum potency. Although all yogurt is made using probiotics, not all brands will add more to the yogurt once it’s made. Look for labels that say “contains live active cultures” to ensure the finished product provides the probiotic punch you’re looking for.
While most doctors don’t recommend giving your child milk before they’re 12 months old, the same rule doesn’t necessarily apply to yogurt. The production process of yogurt breaks down lactose, and generally makes it easier to digest than milk. Dairy via yogurt is typically fine in small quantities. Note that if your child shows any signs of an allergic reaction, or if strong reactions run in your family, it’s best to be on the safe side and check with your doctor before feeding your little one yogurt. Watch for rashes, itchy spots, or vomiting after eating dairy products.
Unfortunately, most flavored yogurts contain added sugars which can contribute to tooth decay and obesity. The American Heart Association suggests avoiding added sugars for the first two years of your baby’s life. Watch out for added sugar appearing under other names, including (but not limited to): maple syrup, sucrose, fructose, maltose, evaporated cane syrup. Yogurt does have some naturally occurring sugars (which are fine for your baby), so check the ingredients list rather than the nutritional panel.
Since young children may find tangy yogurt a little overwhelming at first bite, we’ve added strawberries and bananas to give this recipe a naturally pleasing flavor without any added sweeteners. The extra vitamins and fiber from these fruits don’t hurt, either. Strawberries are great sources of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and they provide three grams of fiber per cup. Bananas offer a good dose of healthy carbohydrates, as well as vitamins B6, C, and potassium.
Finally, using baby oatmeal cereal in this recipe not only thickens the mixture, but also contributes its own nutrients — including iron and calcium — making for a fully satiating meal.
The best part of this recipe (other than all the nutritious value it gives to your baby) is that it’s made in just three simple steps! For busy moms and dads, quick and easy meals are essential, and this recipe is as easy as they come. This Strawberry Banana Yogurt recipe is appropriate for babies aged 6 months or older. Once made, you can store the mixture in Squeeze Pouches in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or freeze them for up to two months — for convenient access when you’re on your way out the door, and your young one needs a deliciously healthy burst of energy.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: Approximately 4 squeeze pouches (which hold 4 oz. each)
1 cup full fat yogurt
½ cup chopped strawberries
½ cup baby oatmeal cereal, uncooked
1. Wash strawberries and chop them, removing leaves from the top.
2. Peel and slice banana.
3. Place yogurt, fruit, and baby oatmeal cereal in blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour blended mixture into your Infantino Squeeze Station. Press into the disposable squeeze pouches.
5. Enjoy immediately, or store in the fridge or freezer for later.