As your baby grows into a toddler, preschooler and beyond, the types of milk she can drink will change as her digestive system matures.
- 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 are specially designed to supplement your toddler’s diet when her intake of energy and nutrients may not be adequate. Toddler milks have age appropriate nutrients to help support growth and development
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 low in calcium and has no Vitamin B12
- Soy milk is not a first class protein (like meat)
- Soy milk is appropriate for toddlers are part of a healthy balanced diet.
- Soy milks are usually enriched with iron because they are naturally low in iron.
This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best resource for family health. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health.