Milk is important for all babies and children to drink. Luckily, there are many options for children of early childhood and older! Every child doesn’t respond well to cows’ milk. Some babies have trouble latching, while others are allergic to something in their mom’s breastmilk. Other babies can’t tolerate formula and can only drink breastmilk. An older child may be allergic to cows’ milk and need a dairy-free substitute like almond milk or soy milk. Whatever the situation is, each child still needs milk in some form or another.
Why Is This?
Milk contains a numerous amount of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients the body needs to grow strong and healthy. Certain types of milk include breastmilk, cows’ milk of which there is whole milk, 2%, 1%, skim, and organic of non-organic. Other types of milk include sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk, the list goes on and on! There is literally a type for every child.
We recommend speaking with your child’s pediatrician to determine the best milk for your child’s individual needs. If you think your child has an allergy, your pediatrician will help you find the best milk alternative for your child.
Nutrients in Different Types of Milk
· Vitamin D
· Vitamin A
· Vitamin B12
Please Note: If you give your child a non-dairy milk, it’s important to make sure you are supplementing the vitamins your child isn’t getting from dairy milk with the foods they eat and a daily vitamin. Again, speak with your child’s pediatrician about the best way for your child to get all necessary vitamins and nutrients from a non-dairy milk.
It has been found that children who drink milk regularly are less likely to drink unhealthy drinks like soda and juices loaded with refined sugar.
How Much Milk is Required for My Child Drink?
This is an excellent question and again, we advise discussing this with your child’s pediatrician as weight, age, and allergies all play factors. But typically, if your child is not allergic to cow’s milk and has weaned off breastfeeding or formula, these are the standard guidelines:
Children between 2-8 years of age: Drink 2 cups of milk per day
Children between 9-18 years of age: Drink 3 cups of milk per day
Once a child turns 1 year of age, doctors recommend having him or her start drinking whole milk (unless still breastfeeding). Then, once he or she turns 2, to switch to reduced-fat milk.
As you can see, there are a variety of options for your child when it comes to milk. We believe it truly does take a village to raise a child and recommend taking a proactive approach with your child’s pediatrician on what is best for your child. Also speak with other parents about their experiences with what milk they incorporate in their children’s diets. If you want to add additional calcium to your child’s daily intake, we recommend healthy greens like spinach and delicious fruit like watermelon.
Here’s to your child’s health! And remember, children learn from example so make sure you’re taking care of yourself too by living a healthy lifestyle!