Milk is definitely needed by toddler but too much or too little of it can be a bad thing. First of all, parents need to understand the child’s requirements according to
- Their age
- How they’ve been fed in their first year of life.
Some babies get plenty of maternal milk, while others need to be fed formula. In that case, there might be some differences, knowing that formula, even the homemade version, is usually less nutritious and lacks some important active agents, such as the beneficial prebiotics and probiotics.
Therefore, feeding toddlers with too much milk can be detrimental, since they’re not getting adequate nutrition but loads of calories. Their accumulation could lead to excessive weight or obesity. It is a real danger, since toddlers are frequently reticent to new foods but still very attached to their old ways, of drinking milk. Overfeeding on the wrong diet thus becomes a major risk.
What kind of milk should toddlers drink?
This is a very important aspect. Although you might fear excessive weight, feed your baby with whole milk and avoid all low fat varieties. Cows milk is the safest choice here, don’t experiment with other types. The only issue with it, from a nutritional point of view, is that it has a different ratio of whey and casein, its main components, compared to breast milk. For this reason, A2 Nutrition developed improved formulations, labelled as toddler milk. These are enriched with all the proper nutrients, with the milk/casein ratio altered.
Feeding 1-3-year old toddlers
Kids at this age are rapidly growing and their menu needs diversification, which they might initially refuse. Do that slowly and gradually. Not by forcing new foods into their diet. For the second year of life, if they crave for their milk, let them have a glass for each meal, but only after they’re done with the new food. It is therefore going to supplement their nutrition instead of filling them up with no room and desire for anything else. Not only that too much milk leads to calorie overload, but it also lowers the very important iron levels (many infants have iron deficiency anemia).
How much milk should a toddler drink?
Between the ages of 1 and 3, toddlers need a maximum of 24 ounces of milk but this doesn’t mean that 24 is the quantity one should actually strive for. The recommended amount oscillates between 16 and 18 ounces. As the baby gets closer to their 3rd birthday, they should be able to also have yogurt instead of milk. Pediatricians regularly advise for just 2 cups of milk per day, this being the ideal amount that leaves room for other foods, which are expected to bring the whole spectrum of nutrients. Breast milk and formula are sufficient for the first year of life and the processes at this developmental stage, but for the next years the needs become diverse.
Children may have a hard time renouncing some of the milk they’re given, or they are the complete opposite – the picky eaters who suddenly no longer want it. If your child refuses to drink milk although they’re at the right age for it, be warned about eventual deficiencies. They could be missing Calcium, Vitamin D, as well as healthy fats.