The yogurts They are considered super foods during childhood and adolescence, even more so than the milk from which they come, mainly because they are easier to digest than this. But since we know that not all those that exist on the market have the same composition - some may contain more sugar than a soft drink - we are going to try to find the healthiest yogurts for children.
Yogurts have a wide variety of benefits for our body. Do you want to know all of them?
1. Due to their dairy origin, they contain calcium, the most important mineral to ensure strong bones, and vitamin D, essential for the absorption and fixation of calcium to the bone.
2. In addition, it also contains phosphorus, important for bones, above all because in yogurt (as in milk) it has a perfect calcium / phosphorus ratio, ensuring its optimization.
3. Yogurts are rich in other vitamins, both water-soluble and fat-soluble, apart from vitamin D, and they also contain good quality protein.
4. Being a fermented product, the sugars have been transformed into lactic acid, which is why yogurt contains either minimal amounts of lactose or, it may even be free of it, being suitable for lactose intolerant children consume them.
5. Contains live microorganisms, hence it must be kept refrigerated. These dairy ferments are responsible for the transformation of lactose into lactic acid. The characteristic strains of yogurt are two lactic bacteria: Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
However, in the supermarket refrigerators we can find such a variety of yogurts and dairy products that the decision when choosing the best one for our children becomes complicated, especially if we take into account the commercial campaigns that are made on many of them .
In the first place, we can differentiate two large groups, natural yogurts and the rest, those with flavors, either artificial or from the fruit they contain. All of them can be in liquid format or to eat with a spoon.
He basic plain yogurt - unfortunately increasingly difficult to find - it must contain milk and the two dairy ferments mentioned above, solely and exclusively, being the best and healthiest that we could offer our children.
Often the list of ingredients is lengthened, including powdered milk or cream in its preparation, generally to make the texture more creamy. Thus, yogurts such as the so-called creamy or Greek ones are obtained.
Yogurts are acidic, due to the amount of lactic acid that is generated in the fermentation of lactose, so it is very common for these basic natural yogurts to be added to sugar, artificial sweeteners or honey, becoming the ones we know like sugary or sweetened yogurts.
Additionally, other bacteria, known by the name of probiotics, including other strains of lactic bacteria and / or bifidobacteria, can be added to the strains responsible for making the yogurt. They can also be known as "active bifidus". These bacteria are 100% safe for the health of the consumer, and generally their advertising campaign ensures that they are beneficial to health in one way or another - depending on the strain in question - either for the gastrointestinal tract or to improve defenses. For use in food they have been extensively examined by researchers and scientists, and in order to attribute health benefits to them they have been part of research studies for years and potentially relevant results have been obtained in cell lines (in the laboratory) or animals of experimentation. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to extrapolate the results obtained in the laboratory with what happens in real life, so the benefits may not be as relevant.
The second big group are flavored yogurts, which can also contain probiotics accompanying the main bacteria. Flavored yogurts may contain fruit or contain artificial colors to simulate the color of the fruit. This group of yogurts also contains sugar or artificial sweeteners, in addition to other types of additives and stabilizers, making them less suitable for children.
Although natural yogurt without sugar is the healthiest and most appropriate for the little ones in the house, we can help ourselves with the labeling to decide how healthy one or the other is, checking that the list of ingredients is as short as possible, avoiding sugar and additives.
You can read more articles similar to Find out which yogurts are the healthiest for children in their daily diet, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.