How much whole milk and/or formula should my one-year old consume daily?

(June 1, 2010)

Baby Formula

Milk is an essential part of every toddler’s diet. Milk helps in the development of strong bones, as it contains vitamin D and calcium. After reaching the age of 1, children need to drink about two to three cups of milk a day (about 16 to 24 ounces), to get enough calcium daily. Breast milk is the best form of milk, even if the child is a year old. If your infant relies completely on formula, by the age of one, it is the right time for you to make the transition to whole milk/ cow’s milk, as long as he does not have any allergies. However, please do wait till your baby is at least a year old, before introducing him to cow’s milk, or he could be at risk for anemia.

Whole milk is important for children under the age of 2, as it contains the dietary fats that children need, for the development of their brain and their nervous system as well as to grow normally. Many children accept the change to whole milk readily, as they prefer its taste and texture, while other children are reluctant to accept the change.

You can start by mixing 50% cow’s milk with 50% formula (or even breast milk) and feeding that to your baby. Do not give up even if your baby resists, as he will eventually get used to it. Once your baby makes the adjustment, change the ratio to 75% cow’s milk and 25% formula. Again allow your baby some time to adjust to the change and then switch to whole milk. You could also expedite the transition by giving your child a small amount of whole milk, like maybe just a few tablespoons, till he asks for more. You could also mix the milk with cereal. Moving to whole milk may result in a few digestive problems like constipation. However, this does not mean that you should go back to giving your child the formula.

Avoid giving your child too much milk this would be more than 16 to 24 ounces of milk a day. If your child usually asks for more than 3 cups of milk every, encourage him to drink more water. This is also the right time to wean the child from the bottle. Cutting off the bottle at once may upset the child and therefore, it is best to gradually eliminate bottles from the child’s feeding schedule. During meals, give your child whole milk in a cup.

Submitted by N on June 1, 2010 at 03:26

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