Yogurt for Toddlers: Daily Serving Size & Healthiest Options

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

Feeding a young child can often be difficult, but when you come across a food that they enjoy, it’s tempting to give them as much as they want. One highly favored food among toddlers is yogurt. Once introduced, many toddlers become solely attached to this food and refuse to eat anything else.

Can a toddler eat too much yogurt? For the most part, yogurt is a healthy staple that offers a delicious dose of dairy and protein. However, many yogurt brands add sugar and unhealthy additions to make them more appealing to kids. Your child can eat too much of the latter type and end up on sugar overload.

Fortunately, reading the labels and introducing your child to healthy yogurt options means they can eat more with fewer worries for you.

Yogurt for Toddlers

Yogurt is ideal for toddlers because it’s easy to swallow and it tastes good. It’s also simple to carry in a lunch bag with an ice pack for an easy, on-the-go snack.

Benefits of Yogurt for Toddlers

Kids can consume a load of nutrients in their yogurt. It’s just important to look for the right kind.

Yogurt Nutrients

Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium. Probiotics are also present in yogurt, and this can have a positive impact on your child’s gut health.

Vitamin B12 and phosphorus are also in yogurt, so your child will get a powerhouse of good stuff with every bite.

Yogurt for Toddlers: Precautions

It’s always important to read the label before you offer your child any packaged food.

Not every yogurt is created equally, so you need to check the added sugar content of each brand and flavor. Added sugar can skew the benefits of yogurt for a toddler.

Find yogurt that doesn’t have too many additives as well. You should recognize the ingredients on the package. If you don’t, there may be additives you don’t want your child to consume.

Also, be wary of yogurts that contain “treats” like M&Ms as these add-ins are not only unnecessary but also contain even more added sugars and fats.

If your child has any food allergies, checking labels is essential. There are dairy- and lactose-free yogurts available, but you need to ensure that’s what you’re giving your child if they have an allergy to either of those ingredients.

Types of Yogurt

While there are a ton of different types of yogurt, these are the ones you will most likely find when you look for toddler food.

  • Greek Yogurt – Thicker than regular yogurt, Greek yogurt may be a tad difficult for toddlers at first because of its consistency. However, it’s packed with protein.
  • Regular Yogurt – Plain whole-milk yogurt is a great choice for new eaters.
  • Drinkable Yogurt – If you want to skip the mess of toddlers and spoons, go for drinkable yogurt. Just make sure the sugar content isn’t too high.
  • Non-Dairy Yogurt – For toddlers with food allergies, certain yogurts are still an option. You will find plenty that are dairy free or vegan.

Can a Toddler Eat Yogurt Every Day?

Your toddler can eat yogurt every day without a problem in most circumstances. However, you need to make sure your child is consuming a yogurt with beneficial probiotics and doesn’t have an excessive amount of sugar.

Yogurt should also be a part of your child’s balanced diet each day. It shouldn’t be the only food your child eats.

How Much Yogurt Is Too Much?

If your child is eating yogurt that does not contain a lot of sugar or additives, 2-4 ounces with every meal is fine.

If you want to add any more for snack times, just pay attention to your child’s reaction. If your child is experiencing any stomach issues, you might want to pull back on how much you’re serving. 

Yogurt Serving Size

Since your toddler will need about ¼ to ½ cup of dairy a day, serving 2-4 ounces either at a couple of snack times or at every meal ensures your child is getting their recommended daily dose of dairy.

For adults, the serving size for yogurt is about ¾ to 1 cup. Want another easy way to figure out serving sizes? Use your fist.

A serving size of yogurt should be about the size of your fist. For your toddler, that means their tiny hands will show they need less than adults.

A little boy messily feeding himself yogurt from a blue bowl.

Healthy Yogurt for Toddlers

If your toddler does not have a dairy allergy, full-fat dairy yogurt is a great option. Buy the plain flavor and add healthy goodies, like fruit or honey, to liven it up.

Greek yogurt is also an option, but it is much heavier than plain yogurt. Don’t give your child as much of it at one sitting, and monitor how their stomach responds.

If a dairy allergy is an issue, check out yogurts made from alternative milks. Coconut milk is a popular replacement for dairy milk in yogurt.

How To Get Toddler To Try New Foods

Toddlers like what they like and can be very reluctant to try new things. However, there are techniques that will encourage them to try new foods.

Eat With Them

You have to supervise your toddler’s meal time anyway, so fill your plate with the foods you want your child to try at the same time.

They will see you eating a food and may then associate it with grown-up food. This can be all the encouragement they need.

Make It a Picnic

Throw a blanket in the backyard and offer your child a picnic meal. This simple trick makes the meal special, and your child may be so fascinated by nature that they try new foods without thinking much about it.

Let Them Help

While it’s not a good idea to hand your toddler a butcher knife, it is wise to get them involved in the meal-prep process.

Let them put the food on their plate the way they want it arranged and choose what utensils they use. Little things like this make them more invested in the meal.

Make It Mini

Offer mini portions of first-time foods so the plate doesn’t look so intimidating. After one bite of broccoli, your child might ask for more. It’s much better than them seeing a pile of broccoli and already feeling overwhelmed.

Related Questions: 

Can a Toddler Eat Too Much Fruit?

Yes, a toddler can eat too much fruit. While fruit is a better snack option than cookies, it still shouldn’t be the only food group your toddler enjoys.

Your toddler needs balance, and that includes fats and proteins. Too much fruit can cause stomach aches or keep your child craving sugar over any other ingredient.

Is Frozen Yogurt Good for You?

Frozen yogurt is not as good for you as regular yogurt, but it’s better for you than ice cream. Frozen yogurt has probiotics and isn’t as full of fat as ice cream, but it’s still packed with added sugar. 

Final Thoughts

When you find a food your toddler loves, it’s a relief. Yogurt is a great choice for your toddler as long as it’s part of a well-balanced diet.