Introducing Milk and Juice to Your Toddler

Toddler (12+ months)
By Gerber

Milk and Juice for Toddler

Let’s start with milk.

When it comes to feeding your Toddler, fat is a good thing. Pediatricians recommend starting with whole cow’s milk, because the fat is important for babies' overall development. About two cups of milk a day gives them the calcium they need, while saving room in their little bellies for other food that provides iron and other nutrients.

Once it’s time to celebrate their second birthday, you can make the switch to nonfat or low-fat milk. However, some babies are at higher risk for being overweight, because of family history or other factors, so your pediatrician might recommend giving your little one low fat (2%) instead of whole milk earlier than age two.

Let’s talk juice.

Ah, juice—no doubt your child will love the natural sweetness, but your sweet Toddler doesn't need any extra sugar. Follow these tips to make sure you don't overdo it.

The real stuff is the best stuff

If the label says “-ade,” “drink,” “beverage” or “cocktail, it’s probably not 100% juice and might have added sweeteners or artificial flavors. Look for products or juices that are 100% juice to help your itty-bitty build healthier habits.

Pasteurized or non-pasteurized?

Some non-pasteurized juices contains bacteria that could make your little one sick. So when you’re out shopping for juice, stick to the pasteurized ones.

Avoid too much sipping

Exposing small teeth to juice for too long can cause baby bottle tooth decay. As scary as it sounds, offering juice in the right portions, containers and only when they're seated with a meal or a snack is an easy solve. Never serve juice in bottles, or allow your Toddler to carry juice with them all day, because though it might seem easier now, it won't feel that way when you're at the dentist's office.

What’s the right portion size?

You can offer children over 1 year only up to 4 fl oz (half cup) of juice and 2 cups milk per day. Keeping the portions small is also a good way to make sure your Toddler is hungry for real fruit and other nutritious foods.