Say hello to milk and juice

  • Serve your Toddler whole milk, not low-fat or skim milk. She needs the fat in whole milk for development.
  • Switch to nonfat or low-fat milk once your Toddler is two years old.
  • Your child 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.

Once your Toddler is ready to drink cow’s milk, which should not be before age one, you should serve her whole milk rather than low-fat or skim.

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

Why whole milk?
Your Toddler needs fat for growth and development, including his brain development. With about 8 grams of fat per cup, whole milk can help provide some of that fat, along with protein and Calcium.

Good to know

If a child between 1 & 2 years 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 their diet.

How much milk?

While milk provides your Toddler with the fat she needs to develop, you need to watch how much she drinks. 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.


Juice 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.
  • Only feed juice from a cup, not a bottle.
  • Go for pasteurized juices. Non-pasteurized juices, like some fresh ciders, may contain bacteria that can make your baby sick.
How was the information in this article?
Introducing cow's milk at 12 months

Plan your child's menus

Nutritional assurance for Toddlers
Transitioning a Toddler to a cup
Baby growth chart

Track your baby’s growth

Practice using a cup
Your Toddler's nutrition