46 answers

Is Flavored Milk Okay?

My 12 month old doesn't like milk. We've tried formula, cow's milk, soy milk... When he drinks, it's almost like we have to force him. Someone suggested flavored milk. Has anyone tried this on their child? Any success? A doctor friend told me that they discourage this as it will lead to rotten teeth and that the child will no longer want to eat other things as they will get used to the sweetness.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hey J...

Well, I personally can't stand the taste of my milk! I can only drink it when it's chocolate milk (or someform of flavored milk). My Mom got me hooked on half doses of ovaltine, because it is better than chocolate milk itself, but I could still drink it. She also gave me Carnation instant breakfast! ALl of these she gave in half doeses, so I wasn't consuming plain milk, but I was getting half the sugar and calories of flavored milk! My first daughter (12 now) loveeed milk alone! I gt lucky..my2nd daughter (15months) hates the taste of plain milk s I'm giving her 1/4 the amount of Ovaltine added to her milk and she's in heaven and nt gaining weight! Hope this helps!

My husband's mother gave my husband flavored milk as a child because he wouldn't drink regular milk, and to this day he still will not drink plain milk - only flavored.

Hi J., My daughter didn't like milk, 19 and she still doesn't, i used to flavor her milk with a little vanillia, soetimes iwould putchocolate or strawberry, just enough to give it a little flavor, and it worked for her. J. L.

More Answers

No. Sugar, aspartame, food dyes, no flavoured milk is not okay.

Why are you insisting on milk? What is it that you are looking for for your child? Calcium? There are other ways.

Collard greens
Turnip greens
White beans
Baked beans
Brussel sprouts
Sesame seeds
Bok choy

Milk is NOT a necessity for children. I always think about the WHY before I give anything on my children. Just because "everyone else is doing it" doesn't make it right. Just because your mom gave you milk growing up doens't make it right.

Want to chat?

B. H B.A.:B.Ed.
Family Nutrtion Coach

1 mom found this helpful

Why do you children have to drink milk at all? If you are "forcing" them to drink something they don't like because you have been told it has health benefits, do some research to replace the nutrients you feel they're missing with another food. Calcium is found in vegetables (especially green ones), meat and eggs. Kids know when their body isn't responding to a food or beverage. If he has an allergy or sensitivy to milk, he won't want ot drink it. My son (3yr) has never had a glass of Milk in his life and he is fully functional, strong and has never had an ear or nose "infection."

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with just letting him drink water and avoid giving him milk. You can still feed him cheese or yogurt if you care to give him dairy. Or soy or rice milk are great alternatives. Don't force it with him - he doesn't need it.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't do it!! You are better off having a child not drink milk and get the needed vitamins from other sources (veggies, whole foods, etc..) then add something to the milk to make it taste better. Aside from the possibility of rotting teeth, you'll train your son's taste buds to prefer the sweetness that you created and nothing else.

I highly recommend you read, The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, By. Dr. William Sears.

Make him smoothies, feed him cheese, cottage cheese, salmon, leafy greans, veggies, feed him this stuff now and I promise you - he will eat healthy.

** After reading a few responses, I wanted to add.. I thought/assumed you meant adding something sweet to reg. milk to make it sweet. Chocolate, vanilla or even strawberry milk is fine but like any treat - in moderation. I think if you give him those flavored milks on a regular basis then that is what he'll prefer, so personally, I'd save those for special times not at each meal (he'll fill up on it and not want to eat any food). We eat very healthy over here too, and the kids do enjoy their "chocolate milk in a box" that we get from Costco, they are 5 and 3 years old and get a box maybe 2-3x a week.

I also second Vera - don't force it. My kids don't drink reg. milk (my son every now and then, my daughter - not at all) I don't drink it either. My milk substitute choice is Almond milk when I have cereal. Otherwise, we get what we need from other sources.

Best wishes,

1 mom found this helpful

Babies don't need milk, unless it is breast milk. Many allergies and 'colds' are related to casein. Almond milk is better for him, and has all of the essential fatty acids he needs for healthy brain development. This would be an excelloent drink during the day, I believe it comes in flavors. I would dilute it with plain almond milk and gradually cease giving him flavored. My daughter likes this a lot. GL!

1 mom found this helpful

The best is Carnation instant breakfast, our pediatrician recommended it. It actually is good for your child. If it gets them to drink milk, why not! They do make Carnation with less sugar if you are concerned about the sugar.
I have 3 kids and non of them have loved milk... but will drink it if I make it with Carnation Instant Breakfast...

1 mom found this helpful

Do not go the flavored milk route. It will just show your kid that you will sweeten in order to get him/her consuming. Just keep putting out the regular milk, until he/she caves. It is a great lesson in eating well. Furthermore, my Doc and several nutritionists actually discourage the consumption of milk as a main calcium source. There are so many other sources and suppliments.
J.: Mom with three kids

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't do it. He doesn't need milk as long as he gets calcium in other ways, cheese, yogurt, creme cheese, fortified orange juice, and so on. My daughter never drank milk after I weaned her off bf. She's fine. I believe in what the doctor friend says. Will her eat cereal with milk on it. My daughter would so I got her one of those bowls with a straw built in. She drank that just for the fun of it, but to this day (8yrs old), she will only have milk on cereal.

Good luck, J.

1 mom found this helpful

This happened with my middle boy at 10 months. After trying everything, I ended up mixing in a little, very little chocoltae milk. This worked & didn't rot his teeth. Just brush more often. Also, keep in mind that you can supplement cheese and other dairy for milk.

My son is now 7 & loves regular milk again (has for years now)! No worries, they grow out of stuff like this!

I didn't read the rest of the advise....so I really don't know much about this except to tell you our story!

My little sister (she's 12 now, but she was from my fathers next wife... so she would be my half-sister I guess) anyway, her mom gave her chocolate milk in her bottle for years! um, she had rotten teeth before she even got her permanent teeth... and now (at 12) she has to have root canals. Something that at almost 30 years old I haven't had to yet!

I suggest that if you do decide to give him that... and it IS your choice as his mommy... then please brush his little teeth (or gums) before putting him to bed. She was put to bed with chocolate milk in a bottle EVERY night!

thats my humble opinion!


Oooh yeah, I would never instigate a sweet tooth this early in his life. I think it w/b bad for teeth, but mostly I agree that it would make him only like sweet milk, and sweet "other stuff" too. I'm sure this phase will be over quickly, as with most phases.

Your Doctor friend has a point.

Have you tried Almond Milk? Or Goat's milk? These have nutritional content that is on par. Some kids like this as an alternative.

I assume previously, your boy was breastfeeding???? What is he drinking now, since he does not drink anything else?

Some Mom's cut breastmilk with milk... in a 80-20 ratio perhaps...then gradually over time, increasing the proportion of "milk." Some kids will take to this... and adjust.

Have you asked your Pediatrician???

The flavored milks have a LOT of sugar and/or corn syrup in it. So... this is something you have to decide on personally, if you want to introduce to him or not. Keep in mind, that diabetes of children is rampant in this country.

The "whole milk" recommendation is also because whole milk contains milk "fats" which are essential to brain growth and is recommended through 2 years old or so.

So many factors... best to ask your Ped first.

All the best,

I dunno, what has he been getting up to this point and how long have you been trying? Did you do the old mix it with breastmilk and gradually change the ratio? with my girls I bf for 1 year, then gave formula for another year. My oldest refused any type of milk after that (she's 6 now) but loves yogurt and cheese, so I did not push it. My youngest (3) drinks soy but not cow's milk. Your boy is so little I think he still needs something like formula or milk. Keep trying the mixing trick and don't give up after 1 or 2 bottles - I know it is frustrating!

Try Rice Dream. My kids loved it, it has great nutrition facts, and it's sweeter than the others you mentioned (more like breast milk). All of my kids drank it for a year or two as they were a little lactose intolerant and my pediatritian recommended it. They eventually could tolerate cow's milk and they decided on their own that the rice milk was too sweet.

I usually add a teaspoon of the flavor coffee creamer or some cocoa powder to the milk, just to mask the taste of regular milk.

I too have come across the same problem in the past. Try a 1 to 3 or 1:4 ratio with Kern's mango juice mixed with milk ... my daughter loved it ! or try making fresh fruit smoothies with milk and honey ( if it's ok for his age)!

wishing you the best

Your Dr. friend is right, don't give him flavored milk for all the same reasons already mentioned.

Wow, you have gotten a lot of responses already. I can't give any advice, but will just let you know my experience. My daughter (now 15 months old) was the same way. I could not get her to drink milk out of a sippy cup or bottle. I decided to go the Vanilla Soy Milk route. She would not drink it cold, so I had to warm it up. Once I got her drinking the Vanilla Soy Milk well, I started doing a half and half mixture with whole cows milk and the vanilla soy milk. Once she got used to that, I switched to just cows milk. She still will only drink it warm, but now loves the whole cows milk. Good luck!

I drink vanilla rice milk. It doesn't have the aftertaste that soy milk has and it's not as sweet as chocolate milk or the like.

Hi J.,

Have you tried goat milk? My youngest can't drink cow milk (allergies) and so we drink goat milk. It's frothy, sweet and yummy. You might give that a try.

As for the rotten teeth part, if you are careful about keeping his teeth clean with flouride toothpaste and you don't let him sleep with a sippy cup of milk or juice, rotten teeth probably won't be an issue. My mom manages a dental practice (after 25 years as a dental assitant) and she says the rotten teeth come from babies who sleep with milk or juice in their bottles at night. When these babies sleep, the "leftover" milk/juice, sits on the baby's teeth and rots them away.

Honestly, I can't see how flavored milk is any worse on the "sweet scale" than juice. At least your son would be getting protein.

Good luck!
Steph :)

When my daughter refused whole milk, I started making her "banana milk". Very simple - 1 banana, 1 cup of milk, and a blender!! Then I slowly diminished the amount of banana I put in it to get her accustomed to just plain milk. It worked like a charm for us! It took about 2-3 weeks and then she loved just the milk! Plus it's healthy!! Good luck. :-)

IMHO 12 months is too young to offer flavored milk. At a year-old my girls did not like a lot of things...broccoli, salad, mango. I just kept offering them these foods until they grew accustomed to the taste. I think you need to just keep offering the cow's milk at breakfast, lunch, and dinner until he starts to drink it. In the meantime offer healthy substitutes and a multi-vitamin so he is getting enough protein and fat in his diet.

My daughter's both enjoy their cup of warm chocolate milk every morning while I have my cup of coffee. We started this when my eldest was around 2 1/2 and my youngest joined in when she was around 18 months. I would have held of longer, but she kept stealing her sisters drink. BTW, I only use the NesQuick that I mix into the milk. The pre-mixed chocolate milk is very strong and thick. If you do decided to offer flavored milk, stick to the kinds that you mix.

Best Wishes,

Hey J...

Well, I personally can't stand the taste of my milk! I can only drink it when it's chocolate milk (or someform of flavored milk). My Mom got me hooked on half doses of ovaltine, because it is better than chocolate milk itself, but I could still drink it. She also gave me Carnation instant breakfast! ALl of these she gave in half doeses, so I wasn't consuming plain milk, but I was getting half the sugar and calories of flavored milk! My first daughter (12 now) loveeed milk alone! I gt lucky..my2nd daughter (15months) hates the taste of plain milk s I'm giving her 1/4 the amount of Ovaltine added to her milk and she's in heaven and nt gaining weight! Hope this helps!

I think you should avoid milk all together. Kids do not need dairy. There is lots of ways for them to get those vitamins.

Hi J., My daughter didn't like milk, 19 and she still doesn't, i used to flavor her milk with a little vanillia, soetimes iwould putchocolate or strawberry, just enough to give it a little flavor, and it worked for her. J. L.

Dear J.,
Flavorings can be wonderful...depending on the content. There is a dried fruit found in Chinese stores called "ra kan to", "la kan ka" or SOMETHING LIKE THAT. They look like greenish brown eggs and cost between 50cents and $3
dollars a piece. You crush one of them up into some water ( maybe a cup or so) bring to a boil and take it off of the range. This is a ZERO CALORIE natural sweetener that you can store for a week or so in your ice box.
If some sugar isnt a problem, Large Korean markets have the most huge and wonderful selections of soy-milk products which might be flavored with ingrediants found in their traditional sweets (like walnuts, peanuts, and black sesame seeds)
There may also be chocolate, green tea and banana soy milk.
some products are slightly thickened with corn starch.
No matter what you decide, I'd be suprised if a very ripe banana in the blender with the dreaded milk wouldnt appeal to your son.
I doubt if artificial sweeteners cause problems if used in moderation.
Good Luck! Gill

My husband's mother gave my husband flavored milk as a child because he wouldn't drink regular milk, and to this day he still will not drink plain milk - only flavored.

Dairy and soy are really not ok for a lot of babies and children. Try the rice and/or almond milk and even goat's milk (most like human, easier to digest than dairy). My daughter wouldn't like certain things and nothing would get it in her. Found out later she was allergic to them. hmmm.

Going for flavored, I would try to avoid it if possible and then if you do it, stay away from the pink stuff, food coloring is not good.


Nestle's Quik has a low sugar chocolate mix that is not too bad.....
Keep in mind all the parents of girls......Soy is an Estrogen replacement and there is now issues of girls reaching puberty at very young ages. We have shied away from Soy products for my daughter and we go for the milk without growth hormones.........

I like what the previous poster said. I have my son on Almond milk mostly, but I also give him regular milk and my doctor said to give him 8oz of formula a day because of the AHA and ARA that the baby needs until age 2 because of brain development.
I also like giving my baby the Nestle's breakfast in his milk every once in a while (there are times that I am concerned that he didn't eat enough or nutritious enough meals, so I give this to him as a snack to give him those other vitamins that he missed in a meal). My baby loves it, but I wouldn't want him to get so used to it that the "chocolate" milk is all he wants.

I am lucky since my son will eat/drink almost anything. Hopefully you are getting all of your answers! good luck.

My son sounds like yours! No milk, of any kind, until we put chocolate Ovaltine in it. Some nutrients in that powder, plus we gradually decreased the amount of powder. In never effected his appetite for other foods, and the boy drinks ALOT of milk. His 4 and no cavities!
Good Luck!


Instead of buying commerical flavored milk, maybe make your own? Maybe add vanilla to cow, soy, or almond milk. That way the only sugar you get (and control) is that which is naturally occuring in the milk itself. Or if you do go with commercial flavored milk, cut it with regular unsweetened milk listed above so he does not get used to the milk being so sweet.

If you go with commercially sweetened milk I would think you are apt to start another set of problems: dependence of sweetened foods possibly leading to diabetes and other health issues and then the potential for tooth decay.

Anyway, those are my 2 cents.

We had the same problem. According to my pediatrician, of course he prefers that she drink unsweetened milk, but if she simply won't, then the would rather her drink sweetened milk than none at all. I use chocolate and strawberry Quik, which will actually add some additional nutrients as well as flavor. I also use the Torani Vanilla Bean syrup. Just a little goes a long way and it makes great vanilla flavor. I add about a teaspoon full to about 10 oz of milk. There are also a ton of flavored soy milks on the market, but we've never needed to do the soy route. Good luck!

My daughter was the same way. I could not get her to drink milk. We tried Ovaltine. It does have some sugar, but also vitamins too.
She is 4 and has had no problems with her teeth.

Oh- and her daddy is a dentist. : )

My daughter would not take any milk until I gave her 3/4 whole milk with 1/4(splash) of choc. Soy milk.....SUCCESS!!! Good luck!

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT do that please!!!!!
It's just a stage.. my daughter went through it too... substitute the calcium with things like yogurt and string cheese, etc... we would give her the danimals yogurt.. she'd have a couple at a time.. and then one day decided she watned to go back to milk again.
Good luck!

Hi J.,
I would just make sure you give him foods that have calcium. A lot of veggies have calcium in it. They have yummy baby yogurts that my baby eats up! As long as he gets calcium from other sources, then I wouldn't worry about him drinking milk. I wouldn't go with flavored milk.
Good luck!

I wouldn't do it because of the extra sugar and I am very careful about giving my kids sugar (we stick to naturally sweet things, like fruit). Maybe try Rice Milk? I haven't ever tried it myself, but I have heard that it is naturally sweeter and better tasting than soy.

A lot of people start out with the chocolate powders and lessen them as time goes on until they are just drinking straight milk. I put a teaspoon of nesquick in a cup of my son's milk all of the time. Nesquick has less sugar in it than other powders and it adds more vitamins and calcium to his milk. The canister recommends 2 table spoons of powder to a cup so I figure one teaspoon is just enough to give it some chocolate kick without adding too much more sugar. I think adding the powders to milk is better than buying flavored milk because you can control how much you put in and phase it out over time.

We are the onlt species that continues to drink milk once we are weaned from our mothers. The dairy farmers want you to believe it's a necessity. The healthest people in the world(Japan) have a diet with no dairy. Calcium cam be achieved in vegetables, cal. fortified OJ, Kefer is healthy dairy that offers nutrition to your little one. Just mix it with half 100% fruit juice and you will meet all your baby's calcium, follow it with some steam spinach or brocholi and you'll offer a better meal than Cow's milk. Which is design to feed a calf that will one day grow up to weigh over 2,000 lbs! Go to www.notmilk.com and read more. You baby is smarter than the rest of the Americamn population.

Mother of 3 HEALTHY girls, 7-5-2
WAC of Carlsbad

how about trying vanilla and chocolate almond milk by Blue Diamond? i add the chocolate flavored one to 2% cow's milk sometimes for my son ...i love it it's yummy..my son isn't a big fan of milk either..he's 2.5 ..i bf'ed til he was 27 months..but i also gave him Good Start Supreme's comfort protein formula til he was 2.

I don't know about what the Dr. says about it but I had the same problem with my daughter. She was breastfed until 14 months and when we tried to give her cows milk she rejected it. We tried all forms ( chocolate, strawberry etc...). My doctor even suggested we try all forms of Pediasure which she rejected as well. What she did finally like is the New Horizons vanilla milk. I think because it is sweet like breastmilk. It also comes in chocolate, strawberry and regular milk (reduced fat),it is organic and they sell it at Pavilions. Good luck!

My son was the same way at first. Try mixing a little apple juice in it. It worked for him. After a week or so we stopped adding the apple juice and he took it fine. He is a big milk drinker now.

I say how ever we can get them to drink it, do it! My oldest daughter is now 4 years old and once I took her night time bottle away at a little older than 2, she no longer would drink milk even in a sippy cup. No way. So just recently she has discovered Chocolate milk, and she now loves it!!! I would say that their teeth are not going to get rotten as long as they are not taking a bottle to bed and you have a daily rutine as far as brushing teeth. You are the mom and you know what is right for your baby! Go with it!

Hi J.,
What about putting Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil in peach flavor. I think they have strawberry flavor too. That way the milk is flavored and it adds his DHA in his diet. Haven't tried this with milk, but I have with water.
Good luck and let me know if you try it and it works.
S. G

Hi J.,

I have 3 healthy kids and they all have been on flavored milk (chocolate) since age 1 and their teeth are in perfect shape!!
my 2 year old even tske her cup of milk in her bed and she's ok!!
Now about the sweetness, yes they will get used to it and they might not want to eat other things but it only happened when they turned 2 and for what I've heard it's just a phase they are going thru ( picky 2 years old eaters)
So I will say go for it!
good luck

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.