Milk for toddlers
- Once your child has had her first birthday, she can begin to drink full cream milk – but limit the amount she drinks to 600 mls a day. The bulk of her nutrients should be coming from other foods.
- Low fat or reduced fat milk can be introduced after she turns 2 years old.
- Skim milk can be given after the age of 5 years.
- Toddler milks have added vitamins and minerals, and some have a higher fat content than regular cow’s milk. They are usually not a necessary addition to your toddler’s diet as she should be getting all the nutrients she needs from her diet. If, however, you do want to introduce a Toddler milk into your child’s diet, make sure that it doesn’t replace meals. She shouldn’t have more than 2-3 cups a day.
- If your toddler is consistently underweight, ensure that she is checked out by your GP before making any changes or additions to her diet.
Some toddlers drink way to much milk – to the detriment of the rest of their diet. Limit the number of milk drinks she has each day so there’ll still be room for food she has to chew!
- Toddler milks have been created for toddlers. They contain added vitamins and minerals. Some toddler milks have a higher fat content than regular formula.
- Toddlers who are eating a healthy diet will have no need for toddler milks as they will be receiving all the nutrients they need through the food they eat.
- If you are considering introducing a toddler milk into your toddler’s diet because of small weight gains, consult your GP first.
- Don’t offer soy milk to babies under 12 months as they are not appropriate for them. If you need to use a soy product, ensure that you are using a soy formula that has added vitamins and minerals added.
Toddlers can drink soy milk although it is worth remembering that:
- Soy milk is lower in calcium and has no Vitamin B12
- Soy milk is not a first class protein (like meat)
- Soy milk is appropriate for toddlers as part of a healthy balanced diet.
- Soy milks are usually enriched with iron because they are naturally low in iron.
- People are concerned about the phytoestrogens in Soy and what this can do to estrogen levels in the body, but more research is still needed. At this point, moderate amounts of soy milk are considered OK for children.
Kidspot is dedicated to the promotion of breastfeeding as the best possible start in life for babies as well as being good for the health and wellbeing of mothers.
The World Health Organization recommends that infants start breastfeeding within one hour of life, are exclusively breastfed for six months, with timely introduction of adequate, safe and properly fed complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond. Source: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/infantfeeding/en/
Breastfeeding provides babies with the best nutrition and is preferred whenever possible. Good maternal nutrition is ideal for breastfeeding. You should be aware that reversing a decision not to breastfeed may prove difficult. Partially introducing formula could negatively affect your milk supply. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula. Proper use of an infant formula is important to the health of the infant and should only be used as directed.
If you’re worried about breastfeeding, your Well Child nurse or PlunketLine can help.
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