Yogurt is a tasty food to satiate your sweet tooth. It’s both filling enough to satisfy and low-calorie enough to manage the waistline. Moms know that anything labeled a “health food” is practically kid repellent, but this creamy, ice-cream-like food is even tempting to young tummies. Here are a few reasons yogurt is great for your growing kids.
It’s rich in calcium
It’s easy to push milk on kids, but getting calcium from other forms of food can be beneficial. Your kids won’t burn out on one thing and they’ll get a huge boost of calcium during the day. An 8-ounce cup of low-fat plain yogurt contains approximately 400 mg of calcium. Compare that to milk’s 100 mg per 8 ounces, and it’s easy to see which dairy food will have greater impact on protecting young bones.
You don’t need to just scoop a blob of yogurt into a bowl and expect your kids to eat it. Yogurt is extremely versatile and can be used in anything from salad dressing to homemade fruit pops. Greek varieties are especially creamy and, when frozen, can turn into an after-school summer treat rather than an eating chore. Take a look at our recipes for 5 layer yogurt dip or fruit and yogurt almond tart for more ideas.
It has probiotics
But don’t tell the kids. Yogurt contains living organisms called probiotics that balance gastrointestinal flora. Eating yogurt (as certain Jamie Lee Curtis commercials would indicate) can help regulate your digestive system and prevent diarrhea and constipation.
It’s high in protein
One 8-ounce serving of yogurt contains as much protein as an egg, meaning yogurt can help you build a protein-rich diet without eating too much meat. Protein is great for maintaining energy throughout the day. Pack some yogurt for lunch, and your kids might come home from school ready for homework instead of a nap.
Yogurt can help maintain weight
According to a University of Washington study, yogurt consumption leads to more fullness and less hunger. The less hungry you feel, the less you’ll eat. Childhood obesity is a major factor in high blood pressure and high cholesterol later in life. Maintaining a healthy, filling diet can help kids eat less, weigh less and feel better.
Watch: How to make homemade frozen yogurt
Learn how to make frozen yogurt at home without an ice cream maker.