As a source of good bacteria for your gut, yoghurt truly is yummy for your child’s tummy. But, making your yoghurt selection can be a challenging task, especially when your child’s allergy or intolerance leads you into the confusing dairy-free world. To make things simpler, let’s take a look at the dairy free Almond Vanilla Yoghurt by So Delicious to see which options are really best for your little one.
🔹As ingredients are listed in order of amount added, water makes up most of this product (just like most almond milks).
🔹The flavours added here are natural, but the company doesn’t have to disclose which flavours are actually used.
🔹Sugar is almost always added to dairy free yoghurt (even plain flavours) to add sweetness due to the lack of lactose; a natural sugar found in dairy products.
🔹This yoghurt is allergy-friendly, especially as it is also soy free (another common allergen).
🔹It has a decent texture and is quite creamy, which is a positive considering many almond milk yoghurts seem to split.
🔹Sodium is lower than other yoghurts, at just 1mg/100g. This is good for kids, as their little kidneys can’t handle as much salt. but, remember that the average 50mg/100g contained in dairy yoghurts is also not a concern, as it still well within guidelines.
🔹It is also not too heavy on the sugar, at 7.7g/100g. This is actually less than dairy-containing competitors, which average around 10-15g/100g.
🔹It obviously contains almonds, so is not an option if your child has a nut allergy. In this case, soy or coconut yoghurt would be a better option.
🔹It is low in protein compared to dairy or soy options at just 2.6g/100g, which is half that of dairy yoghurts.
🔹Unfortunately, it has no added calcium; an important nutrient for growing kiddos (bones and teeth). Yet, I noticed that the brand has corrected this in their new coconut yoghurt, so it always pays to check the label!
🔹This yoghurt has quite a distinct almond flavour, especially in the plain variety. I can see this being challenging for kids, who may prefer more neutral-tasting alternatives such as coconut or soy.
🔹It is also far more expensive than dairy yoghurt, as are all dairy free products. For comparison, a 550g family tub will set you back a whopping $8, while Brownes vanilla yoghurt is less than $5 for 1 kg!
🔹‘Certified Gluten Free’: This is a bit of a cheeky name drop, as most yoghurts are naturally gluten free anyway, so not a selling point!
🔹‘Soy free’ is a good marketing point, as many early yoghurt alternatives contain soy, which is also a common allergy that may occur in conjunction with dairy.
🔹‘6 active and live cultures’: It helps to include a variety of good bacterial strains, as each has different functions, and this diversity has been associated with gut health.
🔹Although relatively harmless, this product is not particularly nutritious either.
🔹Consider the reason you’re opting for a dairy free yoghurt. In the case of lactose intolerance, lactose free yoghurts are a fantastic alternative as they are almost identical in taste and nutrition.
🔹Overall, if your child has a cow’s milk allergy, there are many dairy free alternatives that will meet their nutritional needs (stay tuned for another review next week). If your child can handle soy, it may be a better choice due to higher protein and often calcium content. Otherwise, keep an eye out for any other calcium-fortified varieties.
🔸Ps. The cross next to the cow in the ‘rating’ refers to there being no cow’s milk in the product. This was a HARD one to come up with emojis for. Remember, the emoji rating is open to interpretation 😂 I don’t like to label foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, nor rate them, because there’s room for all foods in a nutritious diet. What I do like to do is explain what’s actually in the food, and compare it to guidelines, so that you can work out if it’s a good you want to buy for your kids. The emojis depict certain elements of the review.
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Toddler Mealtimes is an online subscription for parents who want to feel confident about teaching their toddler to enjoy a variety of foods. It's particularly helpful for those who are noticing their toddler becoming increasingly fussy, but they're not quite sure to handle it. The 12 month subscription guides you through managing toddler fussiness with confidence with regular tips and tricks via videos and photos. Sign up here www.toddlermealtimes.com.au
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About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith and Liz Beaton are paediatric dietitians specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla, Liz and Lauren here www.mealtimes.com.au