J.K. asks from Madison, WI on September 24, 2009
How Do You Get a Two-year-old to Drink His Milk?
My 2 year old son has never been much for drinking his milk. At his one year check up, he had fallen off his growth curve, so the doctor suggested adding ice cream to his diet (lucky kid!). This worked for about 7 months, but now he will barely touch his ice cream either. He doesn't seem to have problems digesting dairy, and he drinks his milk much better at day care since its what all the other kids are doing. He loves cheese, but has constipation issues, so supplementing with cheese alone is out. We mix Carnation Instant Breakfast in with his morning milk so the few sips he takes at least has extra calcium and protein in it. We've tried mixing dry milk in with the foods he does eat, but he just refuses those foods then- and I don't blame him. The only thing that has worked so far is making the milk drinking more fun- we do "cheers" and then he drinks. He starting to wise up to this though and its not working so well. Any one have any other ideas on how to make milk drinking fun? Any ideas on other ways to get calcium and milk protein into his diet? Oh yeah, and he's not a fan of yogurt. I've thought of trying to make him sit at the table until he finishes his milk, but I fear that will only make him not like the milk even more. Thanks in advance!
S.H. answers from Minneapolis on September 27, 2009
Try to give him chocolate and/or strawberry milk. It taste better then normal milk and it might be more interesting since it is a different colors and taste. My daughter is almost 2 1/2 and she loves chocolate but still has a little problem finishing her normal milk. I have also implemented that if she doesnt finish her milk she will not get juice. That way she doesnt have to sit at the table but she has to finish the sip cup before she can get anything else.
E.H. answers from Madison on September 25, 2009
there is nothing wrong with making him sit at the table and finish his milk. My dad did it to all 3 of us as kids, I hated it! Just remind him if he wants to get big like daddy he better drink his milk! Or does he like Chocolate Milk better?
T.J. answers from La Crosse on September 25, 2009
I would try letting him add food coloring into his milk and see if making different colors and him having some ownership in preparing it would help. A tip I use with my daughter (almost 3) when it comes to eating all her food, is telling her if she doesn't eat it I will and she will say "no" and take a bite, then I say, "hey, that's mine. I want it." She thinks its funny and will eat her food all gone. Good luck!
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on September 24, 2009
I wouldn't worry about it. If he's underweight, adding healthy fat foods (like avocado, nuts and nut butters, etc) and if its calcium you are concerned about, greens, veggies have way more calcium than cows milk, and its easier absorbed by the body as these foods are meant to be processed by our bodies, cows milk is not.
We don't do alot of cows milk at our house, because its not meant for our bodies and it does alot of unseen harm. For milk my boys put unsweetened almond milk on their cereal, and they drink the vanilla almond milk. They eat a well balanced diet including greens, fruits, veggies, and sometimes meats, and they do take a daily multivitamin.
I wouldn't worry about his milk consumption. Sometimes kids are way smarter and know more about thier bodies than we give them credit for. IF he's not drinking the milk, there is a reason, so I wouldn't push it. Start him on a daily multivitamin and make sure he's eating a healthy well balanced diet, add in healthy fats if he needs to gain weight, and call it good.
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A.C. answers from Madison on September 25, 2009
Constipation is a big tip off. At the age of 40, I discovered that I have a casein protein allergy, meaning all cow milk products are off-limits to me. I suffered from constipation my entire life; it's suspected I have been allergic to cow's milk since I was little and didn't know it, because my only "symptom" was constipation.
Try switching to goat milk, cheese, and yogurt and see if that makes a difference. I haven't found any goat ice cream, so I can't help you there, but I'm sure it can be made homemade.
At his young age, refusing to eat or drink dairy products could be a very strong clue that he doesn't like them because they don't like him.
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K.K. answers from Milwaukee on September 25, 2009
I agree with everything Becky said. Humans are not meant to drink cows milk...it's meant for baby cows, not people. We also use very, very little milk in our house, and eat a very balanced diet with Almond Milk for just about everything cow's milk is used for. My husband is the only reason we still have cow's milk in the house...he just can't break the habit, but he's cut down a lot. If your son doesn't like cow's milk, I'd say he's a smart cookie!
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K.K. answers from Minneapolis on September 25, 2009
I know you say he doesn't like yogurt, but I wanted to offer a suggestion on that. (Because yogurt won't constipate him like cheese will!)
We do "honey yogurt" at our house. My girls get to drizzle honey over their bowl of yogurt, and find this to be really fun, which of course encourages them to eat it. We also make smoothies a lot, which they love.
Don't worry about him falling off the curve. If you look at the World Health Org. chart, he's probably fine.
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V.E. answers from Minneapolis on September 25, 2009
Try to flavor the milk with either chocolate or strawberry syrup.
N.W. answers from Davenport on September 24, 2009
My daycare kids love to drink up the milk when given a straw! We stop sing the sippies somehwere between 18mo and two so a straw is helpful for more than one reason. But I wouldn't push it too hard. I think your thought about pushing it making him reject it more could be right on. If he is getting it at daycare and doing pretty good, I would see if they can encourage more of it there so that he is getting what he needs and then you won't have such a battle at home and can enjoy meals.
Also, wasn't sure form your post- is he needing it for the fat in the milk for calories? Or is it more for the calcium intake? FYI broccli has as much or more calcium than milk so he can get those nutirents elsewhere. As far as fat, there are also other ways to get that. you might ask the doc or a nutritionist other ideas if he isn't a big dairy fan.
H.M. answers from Minneapolis on September 25, 2009
What about if you add chocolate, strawberry or caramel flavouring (or any other), to the milk? Would he drink it then.
Also what about using one of those straws with all the twists and turns in it, that way he can watch the milk coming up the straw, if it is a coloured straw, he won't see the white of the milk and might be less concerned with what he is drinking.
K.C. answers from Madison on September 25, 2009
I didn't read all the responses, but my kids (6 & 3) will eat yogert if we make an activity out of putting it in a tall glass, add fruit, some milk and use the Braun single blade hand held drink mixer (not sure of the exact name) to blend it all up. You also can add extra protein powder. I use soy yogert and soy milk because my kids don't tolerate cows milk well.
All that aside, there are calcium chewables that I use as suppliments. Try not to make too big a deal of it and don't get into the power struggles at the table - it's simply not worth it.