What kind of yogurt can be given to a small child?
Everyone knows that kefir is very useful. But is it possible to give it to children, and at what age should one begin to introduce such a product into the diet? Find out in order to provide your baby a complete balanced diet and improve his health.
When to start?
From what age can you give kefir to a small child? Opinions of doctors on this subject are divided. So, some believe that such a product should be entered into the diet from 6 months on, while others argue that it is better to wait until one year. But still, most experts say that the introduction of kefir can start from about 8-9 months, if the child is breastfed.
If the baby is an artificial artist, then you can acquaint him with kefir a little earlier, namely at 7-7.5 months. It is at this age that the digestive system of the crumbs can digest this product, and the body can fully absorb it. And yet, to find out the optimal age for the introduction of kefir in complementary foods, it is better to seek advice from a pediatrician.
Why not give it too soon?
Kefir is a very specific product, so its early introduction is unacceptable. This is due to several reasons:
In kefir there are much more mineral salts and protein than in breast milk and milk formulas, and their excessive amount will overload the immature kidneys and liver of the crumbs, which can lead to some disturbances in their work.
The enzymes contained in the fermented milk product under consideration increase the acidity of gastric juice, and at an early age such an increase can be harmful and even dangerous.
It is worth remembering that kefir contains a certain amount of alcohol, which can have a negative effect on the brain of a baby under 6-7 months.
This product contains a special protein - casein, which is difficult to absorb for a weak and immature stomach of a baby.
The structure and ratio of fats and carbohydrates found in kefir differs significantly from their content in the adapted mixture or breast milk.
Use of the product for children
Why, in general, the baby give kefir? The fact is that it is very, very useful. Here are its main properties:
- Calcium, which is part, is necessary for the normal development of bone tissue, as well as the formation of teeth.In addition, kefir contains some amount of vitamin D, which contributes to the proper absorption of calcium.
- In the process of fermentation in kefir, useful lactic acid bacteria multiply, which, firstly, help to normalize the intestinal microflora and thereby improve digestion, secondly, colonize the intestine, fight pathogenic microorganisms and strengthen the immune system. That is why kefir is the best way to prevent dysbacteriosis.
- This fermented milk product helps to remove various harmful substances from the body, for example, toxins or heavy metals.
- The composition includes vitamins of group B, which normalize many metabolic processes and noticeably improves the work of the nervous system: they make sleep more calm, eliminate irritability and increased excitability.
- Kefir helps to improve the appetite, and sometimes it is very important.
- This fermented milk product contributes to the best absorption of minerals, macro- and microelements and vitamins, for example, iron. So kefir is useful for anemia and its prevention.
- It contains protein, which is the main building blocks for new cells of a growing organism.
How to choose?
How to choose kefir? What is worth paying special attention to?
- For a baby, it is worth buying a not-too-fat kefir with a percentage of fat equal to 1-2%.
- After about 1-1.5 years, kefir can be given with a fat content of 2.5-3%. Fatter to buy is not worth it. But skimming and giving crumbs is undesirable, since there is practically nothing useful in it.
- You can buy kefir in the store, but the store must have an impeccable reputation. If you have repeatedly found in it expired products, it is better to go to another.
- Pay attention to the packaging. It is desirable to purchase kefir in Tetra Pak bags, as they retain all the beneficial properties and do not emit any harmful substances into kefir, and also prevent the penetration and reproduction of bacteria. Packaging must be intact. Bruises and the more damage should be alerted.
- Estimate shelf life. The smaller it is, the more natural and useful the product is. It is advisable to buy only fresh kefir one or a maximum of two days old.
- It is best to buy a special kefir, designed specifically for baby food.First, it has a softer taste, and secondly, it can be further enriched with useful substances.
How to introduce kefir in the diet of the child?
Begin to enter into the diet kefir should be gradually. Start at about 20-30 milliliters.
- Watch your baby's reaction carefully. If everything is in order, then gradually increase the dose and bring it to 100 ml. This is the rate of consumption for a child older than 7-8 months. In a year the daily dose can make 200 ml, that is practically full glass.
- It is best to divide the daily volume into several receptions. You can offer baby kefir at lunch and before bedtime. Do not give it to an empty stomach or instead of the main meal.
- It is imperative to keep kefir in the refrigerator. And it is desirable to drink it in the first two days after opening the package.
How to do?
Many people think that kefir, prepared by own hands, is much more useful. This is true, because you probably will use only high-quality and fresh raw materials and comply with all storage conditions.
For home cooking you will need:
- 1 liter of milk (store, pasteurized);
- ferment with lactic acid bacteria (you can buy it at the pharmacy).
If you are worried about the quality of milk, then it is desirable to boil it.
Cool the milk to about 40-42 degrees.
Carefully put the starter into the milk (the required quantity should be indicated in the instructions) and mix everything thoroughly.
Now pour the milk into some container, for example, in a bottle or in a can, wrap it in a warm place for the night.
If kefir is ready, you can drink it. If not, leave it to ferment for a few more hours.
Let your baby be happy and healthy.
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