Introducing Milk & Juice

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  • Unless directed by your doctor, serve your Toddler whole milk, not low-fat or skim milk. She needs the fat in whole milk for her development.
  • Switch to nonfat or low-fat milk once your Toddler is two years old.
  • When introducing baby to cow's milk, remember that she only needs 2 cups of milk a day to meet her Calcium needs.
  • If serving juice, look for beverages that are 100% juice, with no added sweeteners, colors or artificial flavors.

Is your Toddler ready for milk and juice?

Toddlers need between 6 and 8 drinks per day to ensure good hydration. A mix of water, milk and fruit juices is ideal.

Once your Toddler is over 1 year old, and you have decided she is ready to drink cow’s milk, you should serve her whole milk rather than low-fat or skim.

Why whole milk?
Your Toddler needs fat for healthy growth and development, including her brain development. When you're introducing your baby to milk, keep in mind that whole milk can help provide some of that fat, along with protein and Calcium, at about 8 grams of fat per cup.

Good to know

If your child is between 1 and 2 years old, and is at risk for obesity or being overweight—either by family history or as determined by their pediatrician—reduced-fat (2%) milk should be served instead of whole milk. For children over 2 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests switching to nonfat (skim) or low-fat (1%) to reduce the amount of saturated fat in her diet.


How much milk?

While milk provides your Toddler with the fat she needs to develop, you need to watch how much she drinks. When introducing milk and juice, toddlers and preschoolers only need 2 cups of milk a day to meet their calcium needs. Any more than that can make your child too full to eat other nutritious foods.

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Choose right

In addition to milk, you might also be adding juice to your Toddler’s diet. Here are some tips to help you get juice-smart:
  • Beverages that are 100% juice offer the most nutrition from fruits or vegetables so make sure it says “100% juice” on the front label or above the nutrition facts panel.
  • Limit her juice intake to 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) a day.
  • If a beverage is labeled “-ade,” “drink,” “beverage” or “cocktail,” it’s usually not 100% juice and may have added sweeteners, colors or artificial flavors. So, be sure to check the labels. 
  • Only feed juice from a cup, never from a bottle.
  • Go for pasteurized juices. Non-pasteurized juices, like some fresh ciders, may contain bacteria that can make your baby sick.
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