Babies and Yogurt Melts: Everything You Need to Know

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Whether you are choosing to start with purees or opting for baby-led weaning, there’s no doubt that picking up a packet of yogurt melts makes for a convenient snack. Many new parents wonder if there’s any difference between these and other packaged snacks, like puffs, and if the extra money spent on the ‘baby’ version is worth it.

Fairly similar to puffs in terms of nutrition, yogurt melts are convenient but not an exact swap for traditional yogurt. Their size and portability make them easy for older babies to practice self-feeding even when you’re on the go. 

Even though they’re both made from yogurt, yogurt melts are a bit different when it comes to their ingredients, nutrition, and how you can offer them to your little one. Read on to determine which style of yogurt best fits you and your baby’s needs. 

When Can Babies Eat Yogurt Melts?

Yogurt melts are a common baby/toddler snack in the US. They are made from freeze-dried yogurt, fruits, and even veggies and come in a number of shapes, but are most often found as small, chocolate-chip-sized disks. A few popular brands include Gerber Yogurt Melts, Amara Smoothie Melts, Happybaby Greek Yogis, and Beech-Nut Melties.

purple yogurt melts in a bowl

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are typically ready to start solid foods around 6 months of age (source: AAP). Around this time babies can typically sit up, control their heads and neck, open their mouths when food is offered, and use their tongues to move food around in their mouth to swallow (source: CDC). 

Once your baby is developmentally ready to start solids it is appropriate to offer yogurt melts. Because of their small size, however, babies who have developed the pincer grasp and can pick up small pieces of food between their thumb and fingers will have an easier time self-feeding yogurt melts. 

6-9 months9-12+ months
Safety
Yogurt melts are appropriate to offer, but may not be easy for your baby to self-feed due to the small size. 

Once your baby has developed their pincer grasp, the small size is great for self-feeding practice.
Manufacturer RecommendationsAmara and Happybaby don’t give an age suggestion, but rather developmental milestones that happen around the same time as the pincer grasp is developed. 
-Baby can pull self up to stand
-Baby crawls without their tummy on the floor
-Can pick up small pieces of food between the thumb and fingers (pincer grasp)
-Uses the jaw to mash foods in the mouth- typically occurs earlier than the pincer grasp, around 6 months and is a sign of readiness to start solids
Amara and Happybaby don’t give an age suggestion, but rather developmental milestones that happen around the same time as the pincer grasp is developed. 
-Baby can pull self up to stand
-Baby crawls without their tummy on the floor
-Can pick up small pieces of food between the thumb and fingers (pincer grasp)
-Uses the jaw to mash foods in the mouth- typically occurs earlier than the pincer grasp, around 6 months and is a sign of readiness to start solids
Gerber and Beech-Nut suggest offering yogurt melts starting around 8 months. This is likely because babies are developing their pincer grasp around this time and will be able to self-feed the melts. Gerber and Beech-Nut suggest offering yogurt melts starting around 8 months. This is likely because babies are developing their pincer grasp around this time and will be able to self-feed the melts. 

(source: CDC)

Getting messy is another crucial part of starting solids. Playing with food, despite the mess, is one way babies get acclimated to new textures and is step one towards accepting new foods. Regular, liquid/puree-style yogurt is a great food for this practice.

Sometimes, though, it’s just not the right time or place to allow food play. Whether you are out at a restaurant, in the car, or visiting friends, yogurt melts can be a convenient alternative when you need to be mess-free. 

Are Yogurt Melts Safe for Babies? Can They Choke?

Initially, the size of yogurt melts can give some parents pause. Small, round foods are typically choking risks as this shape is similar to the size of a baby’s airway. Yogurt melts are different, as they’re designed to melt into a liquid in the baby’s mouth and therefore won’t get stuck in the throat. 

It is always recommended to follow safe feeding practices, regardless of what type of food you are offering. Your baby should be fed in a comfortable, seated position. Always watch your baby while they are eating. 

Even though yogurt melts don’t look like regular yogurt, they are still considered to be a dairy food. Cow’s milk and dairy are common allergens. If your baby hasn’t had any other sources of dairy yet (cheese, yogurt) then introduce yogurt melts carefully and watch for any signs of allergic reaction. 

If your baby was diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy as an infant and required a special formula or for you to follow a dairy-free diet while breastfeeding, discuss with their pediatrician when it’s an appropriate time to re-try dairy. 

Are Yogurt Melts Good or Bad for Babies?

Dairy foods have a number of health benefits for little ones. They are good sources of protein, calcium and phosphorus to support healthy bone growth, and are typically fortified with vitamin D. 

While full-fat yogurt is also a great source of healthy fats for brain development, most store-bought yogurt melts are made with low-fat or reduced-fat milk. Because they don’t contain much (if any) fat, yogurt melts are not the most balanced snack choice unless you are also offering a higher-fat food alongside.

blue yogurt melts in a bowl

In terms of overall nutrition, yogurt melts are fairly similar to puffs. Both are ‘light’ snacks, primarily carbohydrates with little fat, though yogurt melts do have a bit more protein. 

If you’re making your own yogurt melts at home, opt for full-fat yogurt to create a more balanced all-in-one style snack. 

Added sugars are recommended to be avoided under the age of 2 years, yet a few of the popular brands of yogurt melts are sweetened with sugar instead of fruit (source: AAP).

When possible, opt for no-sugar-added or naturally sweetened options. Amara’s smoothie melts are dairy free, but do contain brain-boosting fats from coconut milk and only rely on fruit to provide natural sweetness. 

How Many Yogurt Melts Should Baby Eat?

Until your baby is at least 1 year old, breast milk or infant formula should still be the main source of your baby’s nutrition- even after they’ve started solid foods. 

Between 6-12 months of age, it is recommended to offer up to 1 serving of dairy to your little one each day. The calcium in dairy is a wonderful (and necessary) nutrient that support’s their bone health, but calcium also blocks the absorption of iron- another essential nutrient (source: International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research).

As long as your baby is eating iron-rich foods (iron-fortified infant formula, meats, whole grains, dark greens) you can continue to offer dairy on a daily basis. 

Keep in mind that most store-bought yogurt melts are low-fat and may also have added sugars. Full-fat dairy and avoiding added sugars are always preferable until little ones are at least 2 years old.

Unless you’re offering no-added-sugar yogurt melts made with full-fat yogurt, it’s best to keep these as a one-in-a-while snack when you’re on the go and need something convenient with little risk of mess. Offer full-fat, plain or sweetened with only fruit, when possible. 

Can Adults Eat Baby Yogurt Melts?

Being a parent means sometimes eating your little one’s leftovers or reaching into the diaper bag for a quick snack. For adults, there’s nothing wrong with eating yogurt melts marketed for babies. ‘Baby’ items do tend to be more expensive than their ‘adult’ counterparts, so this isn’t like to be the most budget-friendly snack, albeit harmless. 

Yogurt melts are certainly a convenient snack for babies but are not quite the same as offering traditional yogurt. Thick of yogurt melts like you would baby puffs, cheerios, or other ‘light’ snacks and offer a higher fat food alongside to create a balanced plate.