Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Homemade Yogurt Melts


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Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts - I'm sure you've seen them in the store, maybe even bought them for your little one to try but have you ever looked at the ingredients? Both my daughter and my son love Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts. My husband and I tried them and personally think they are disgusting but after all they are made for toddlers and toddlers seem to like them but if you have ever looked at the ingredients, sugar is the second ingredient in Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts. That's right, sugar. I understand that sugar is used to help flavor food but when you are using real fruit and real yogurt why do you need to flavor the yogurt melts with sugar? Gerber Graduates First Foods are advertised as being healthy for babies and toddlers but I personally don't want my toddler's first snack foods to contain a bunch of sugar so I decided to try to make my own healthier version of the yogurt melts.

The Homemade Yogurt Melts are also a lot cheaper to make than the Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts. The Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts cost between $2 and $3 for a 1oz bag. A 32oz container of Great Value Yogurt cost $2.34 plus the cost of fruit and you end up with 500+ yogurt melts and extra yogurt and fruit. Not only is it healthier to make your own Yogurt Melts, but it is a lot cheaper and I guarantee your kids will love them!


You can make your yogurt melts a couple different ways. The easiest way is to buy some flavored yogurt, spoon it into a ziplock bag, cut a small hole in the corner and pipe dots on a pan covered in wax paper. Once you are done piping the yogurt dots, pop the tray in the freezer and let sit until frozen. Store in a ziploc bag, freezer bag, or air tight container in the freezer. Easy as that.

The second way you can make the yogurt melts is with real fruit and yogurt. This way takes a little longer but it is healthier than the flavored yogurt melts because it contains real fruit where as the others are just yogurt.

*UPDATE: see bottom for another easier way

Homemade Yogurt Melts


Supplies:

  • 2 pears
  • 2 apples
  • 1 cup Vanilla Yogurt (I used ¼ of a 32oz container) *see below
  • Food Processor
  • Ziploc or Freezer Bag
  • Flat pans covered in wax paper

NOTE: You can use any combination of fruit you prefer. I made apple pear yogurt melts but some other combinations are strawberry banana, apple pear pineapple, peach, strawberry banana orange or strawberry blueberry. You can also sneak some vegetables into the yogurt melts, just make sure you use more fruit than vegetables to help mask the veggie taste.


How To:

1.  First you need to peal the apples and pears and cut them into small pieces. Pour all the fruit into your food processor and process it till it is all mashed up.

2. Add 1 cup of vanilla yogurt. I used ¼ of a 32oz container. Run the food processor again. Do not over mix the fruit and yogurt or add to much yogurt because it will make it too runny and it will be harder to make the yogurt melts.

*NOTE: I used light vanilla yogurt to help add flavor but if you want it to just taste like the fruit then use plain yogurt. Plain yogurt and Vanilla yogurt are lower in sugar than flavored yogurt so they are healthier for children. Organic, Low Fat or Greek Yogurt are also great choices when selecting a yogurt. Greek Yogurt is thicker and higher in protein which is good for your little one.

Below is a picture to show you the thickness of the apple, pear, yogurt mix once it was processed.






3. Pour the fruit/yogurt mixture into a Ziploc Bag or a Freezer Bag and cut a tiny hole in one of the corners of the bag.

If you cut the hole to big the mixture will come out very fast making it harder to make the yogurt melts so make sure you cut the hole very small.






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4. Line a flat pan with wax paper and begin piping dots onto the wax paper. Once the pan is completely covered, place the pan in the freezer until the yogurt melts harden. This will take 20-30 minutes.

I only had two flat pans that would fit in my freezer so I waited until the yogurt melts were frozen then repeated step 4. I filled a total of four pans making over 500 yogurt melts.


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5. Once the yogurt melts have hardened you can remove them from the wax paper. Store them in a Ziploc Bag, Freezer Bag or an air tight container in the freezer. Serve to your toddler as needed.


You can't leave the Homemade Yogurt Melts sitting out or they will soften and eventually melt but they do last plenty long enough for your toddler to eat them. We have yet to have any of them melt on us.





Homemade Yogurt Melts are the perfect snack for your toddler. Not only are they a lot cheaper than the Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts but they are cold so they will help with teething babies, they melt in your mouth to avoid chocking and they are healthy because they are made with real fruit! The Homemade Yogurt Melts don't taste bad at all, much better than the Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts thus making them the perfect snack for both your toddler and you. I catch my husband sneaking a few from time to time and you can tell from the pictures below that both my little ones love them and want more every time! 


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UPDATE:

My kids loved the yogurt melts so much that I had to make another batch sooner than I thought I would. I started making the yogurt melts the same way as listed above but I either cut the hole in the freezer bag to big or added to much yogurt, thus making it runnier. When I went to make the dots, the mixture was coming out to fast so I decided to pour the mixture onto a pan covered in wax paper and smooth it over, freeze it, and cut it into small squares. It wasn't as time consuming as making over 500 dots was and they taste the same so if you are in a hurry or just don't feel like making the dots this way is definitely easier!

1. Cover a pan in wax paper.

2. Mix fruit and yogurt in a food processor/blender.

3. Pour mixture onto the pan and smooth out. They thinner you spread it the more you will have. 

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5. Once the yogurt fruit mixture is frozen, pull it out of the pan, remove the wax paper and cut into tiny squares. It is very important to remove the wax paper before you cut the squares. If not the wax paper will stick to the squares and will take forever to remove from the yogurt melts.

6. Store them in a Ziploc Bag, Freezer Bag or an air tight container in the freezer. Serve to your toddler as needed.


You can make the yogurt melts any way you want but after making them a couple of times, I promise you it is a lot easier and faster to pour them in a pan, freeze and cut them up. The yellow yogurt melts are apple pear and the pink yogurt melts are strawberry, banana, orange. The pink ones are amazing so I defiantly recommend trying the flavor. I used 1 banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 2 cutie oranges and  ½-1 cup vanilla yogurt. 



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