Yogurt is a really great option for snacks. Its full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and (usually) probiotics. I’d like to share you with a guide to help you pick the best yogurt and also what to do with it!

First, here are some nutrition specifics of yogurt. 100g of plain full fat yogurt contains:

  • ~ 60kcals
  • Almost 5g of carbs (they are the milk sugar, lactose – this is not an added sugar)
  • 3.3g of fat
  • 3.5g of protein
  • Vitamin B12 (6%)
  • Vitamin Riboflavin (8%)
  • Vitamin D (depends on the brand)
  • Phosphorus (9%)
  • Calcium (9%)

Most high-quality yogurts contain probiotics (live beneficial bacteria that ferment the yogurt and also have a healthy impact on our digestive system.)

Some benefits of probiotics include: Improved gut function, synthesis of certain vitamins, enhanced immune function, improved cholesterol, bowel regularity, and more.

How to choose a yogurt

  • “Plain” or “unflavored” to avoid added sugars
  • Ensure the strains of bacterial cultures are listed
  • Full fat for children under 2
  • Full or reduced for for children over 2
  • Look at the ingredients, higher-quality yogurts usually have fewer ingredients, lower quality ones use thickeners
    • The brand I buy has 3 ingredients – milk, cream, pectin
    • If you’re wondering about pectin, it’s a complex carbohydrate found in fruit
  • If you’re ever unsure about added sugars – look at the ingredients for things like cane sugar, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose
    • The new ingredients list will also label “added sugars” – avoid these

What to do with plain yogurt?

Parents tell me all the time their child won’t eat plain yogurt. Don’t be discouraged, this is a great opportunity for you to add some amazing nutrient-rich additions. Here are some ideas:

  • Chia seeds (sometimes calling them sprinkles helps increase excitement)
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chopped fruit
  • Frozen fruit (let thaw)
  • Cinnamon
  • 100% cocoa powder (high in iron and fiber!)
  • A spoon of nut butter mixed in
  • Or a combo of these
  • Overnight oats (mix oats with yogurt and any toppings, let sit overnight in the fridge to soften – enjoy cold in the morning)
  • Popsicles (I’ve got a recipe right here)
  • For babies yogurt is quite messy, I’ve got a less-mess solution here

Another idea is going savory. Mixing 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp dried dill, cracked pepper to taste. Serve this as a dip for veggies/crackers.

Travelling

When you’re on the go, it’s definitely convenient to have the one serve cups of yogurt. However, with a tiny bit of planning, you can take all good stuff you just read about WITH you.
All you need are some containers that you can seal and take, and a good cold bag. I love the Lunch Blox containers as they come in many different sizes, they stack, and they don’t leak yogurt.
The cold bags I like are the PackIt bags (they’ve got ice packs sewn into them and I’ve traveled internationally with them and they’re brilliant.)
Check out those products here.
If you’re really on top of your game, get it done the night before. If not, it only takes a minute to spoon some yogurt into a container, add some cinnamon and/or fruit.

I really hope this article has inspired you to check out your yogurt labels and explore your options for adding your own toppings.

If you’re ready to get into the Mini Meals Mindset at snack time, sign up below for my Snack Staples List and join my NIFTY community (NIFTY = Nutrition Info + Feeding Tips for You!)


Thalia

Hi, I'm Thalia the Dietitian. I help parents raise healthy, intuitive eaters and foster healthy food relationships with their children. I'm an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist. I teach nutrition to college students, author higher education materials to accompany textbooks that engages students, and I'm mum to two little ladies (and a retired guide dog lab.)

6 Comments

Victoria S · August 2, 2019 at 9:30 pm

What’s your take on dairy-free yogurts? It’s hard to find one that’s both unsweetened and has some protein (now that Ripple yogurt is off the market), so I always wonder if the probiotics are worth all the added sugar and no protein.

    Thalia · August 3, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Hi Victoria. I just saw the “so delicious” coconut yogurt, their plain version doesn’t have added sugars and it has bacterial cultures which is great!

      Victoria · August 3, 2019 at 11:52 am

      Thank you, Thalia! I appreciate the guidance. I’ll keep my eye out for that yogurt this weekend.

        Thalia · August 3, 2019 at 5:21 pm

        Great. And no worries if you can’t find that exact one – but you know what to look for on the label!

Marisa · January 23, 2020 at 11:03 pm

How much cocoa do you add to your yogurts?

    Thalia · January 23, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Marisa, about a tablespoon (depends how much yogurt – for less ~1tsp)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *