32 answers

Limit Milk Intake?

Why do doctors tell you to limit milk intake? I don't understand what the harm is. My son is lactose intolerant and we've switched him to soy milk, which he requests many times a day, sometimes the only thing that will calm him down

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't know why they'd tell you to limit soy milk. But cows' milk can be constipating. As far as adults are concerned, too much calcium can cause Kidney stones --- happened to me -- I like milk (non-fat) -- always thought is was healthier for me than soda or juice, but now I was told to limit my calcium -- osteoporosis anyone?

I beleive the reason is that while it hydrates like water, it also has calories unlike water and fills them up. Part of that is fine, but if they have too much of the milk and not enough of other things, they are missing out on a varied diet and thus lots of other vitamins that are in other foods, but not milk. Milk (or rather calcium) also inhibits the absorportion of iron into the blood, which is another reason.

-M

I don't know if you are asking about limiting the Soy milk intake, But soy has estrogen in it and it is not good to consume a lot of soy products. especially young boys....

More Answers

H.,
Doctors limit milk intake for several reasons, but primarily because milk actually contains a lot of sugar and excessive milk intake can result in reduced consumption of regular foods, thereby affecting the child's nutrition. Also, soy milk is fine, but excessive amounts of soy can lead to hormone imbalance. I too, struggled with children who requested milk all the time, but I just had to limit them to the amount the doc suggested and be firm. They usually adjust within a few days and stopped asking so much.
In addition, drinking on milk all day long, where the residue sits on his teeth, can lead to dental problems, such as cavities. Try switching him to water for every other sippy he requests.
Good luck!
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Soy milk is a phyto-estrogen, so of course it calms him down. Be careful with the amount of soy you are giving him. There is no strong research on the amount of soy in males and possible gender bending.

Rice Dream might be a viable option?

I'm not sure about soy milk, but regular cow's milk doesn't contain enough iron in it and too much milk can make your child iron deficient. Also, if your child is drinking lots of milk all day long, he probably isn't eating enough other things which he needs for a balanced diet. He is basically filling up on milk to satisfy his hunger. Maybe try switching him to water in a sippy cup whenever he asks for milk.

My son loved milk to the point of exclusion of other foods.
He could have lived on milk IF it had all the nutrients his body needed.
Milk is good but he needs a balanced diet. If he's too full from milk (ever been hungry and had a glass of milk to curb the hunger?) then he isn't going to be hungry for other foods.
Milk can also cause excess mucous and you don't say if your son has any issues (colds, ear infections, upper respiratory) and that could be another reason.

I was also advised not to drink too much milk or take too much calcium because I suffer from kidney stones and calcium exacerbates the problem.

There are numerous reasons why you should limit (not eliminate) milk intake :)

I don't know if you are asking about limiting the Soy milk intake, But soy has estrogen in it and it is not good to consume a lot of soy products. especially young boys....

I think the bottom line is everything in moderation. Regular cows milk does contain lots of sugar as well as lots of good things kids need (see Tiffany's reponse, well said!).
I have two boys and one can't even have soy milk, he has to drink rice milk (soy constipates him and milk contributes to his chronic ear infections - learned by trial and error) my other son LOVES his cows mild but i have limited it to two "sippys" a day (16 oz). If he has more then that a day, his "poopies" are green, which means he is getting too much of one thing (usually milk), and yes his teeth come into play. Really its all about moderation, something you learn your whole life. It isn't good for anyone to have too much of one thing. If your child was drinking water only all day, your doctor would say limit the water, add some milk. Right?
I think another good thing to do is to ask your doctor his reasoning, he/she may have a reason that directly is due to your child that he/she has may not been very clear about? asking questions is always good.
:)
J. B

if they drink too much milk they won't eat enough of other foods :) milk doesn't have enough calories to adequately nourish growing bodies. limit it to 3 cups a day, and juice to one cup a day.

Hi H., your son's doctor maybe concerned that he is taking the milk inplace of what should be a meal, at 13 months he should be having 3 meals a day plus snacks, and you can give him the soy milk with each meal, give him juice or water with snacks. And a little soy milk between meals should be OK, but just a little. I have a question why are you and your husband sleep deprived? J.

You'll have to ask your doctor for the reason, but perhaps it is because he will "drink" all of his calories and then not want to eat food. Try getting smaller cups and giving him less each time you offer the milk. Then you can use it to soothe him and maybe he won't notice that he only gets 4 ounces instead of 8 each time!!

Too much milk can actaully prevent the absorption of other important nutrients and vitamins in your baby's diet. That's what my pediatrician told me. I am supposed to limit my daughter's milk intake to 16-20 oz per day. However, I'm not sure if the same goes for soy milk.

I think the concern is that they will fill up on milk and not get enough other nutrition. When my youngest son had his 18 month check up, we found out that he was anemic. He loved to drink milk. The doctor told us to limit his milk intake, as well as encourage high iron foods. They told us that they see anemia a lot in children who drink a lot of milk. If your child is drinking soy milk, I don't think you will have to worry about anemia because soy milk is a good source of iron, but there might be other nutritional concerns (I just don't know). If he seems to be getting enough good nutrition from solid foods, I would say to let him drink as much soy milk as he wants. You could also encourage him to drink water, if you are concerned (that is what I usually try to get my kids to drink between meals).

Never heard that from a doctor before, and I have four kids. But then I breastfed mine.

HI. I have a 29 month old son who loves milk too. My doctor has never said that to me. He drinks a lot of milk. The only thing I have heard of is if your son is drinking so much milk he is not eating other foods. Then he is not getting all the nutrients he needs. My sister's son does this. He'll drink a whole sippy cup (8 oz) of milk before his dinner and then he will only eat half his dinner. That is wrong. Another thing I have heard of is if your son is overweight. Milk has a lot of calories, so your doctor may not want him to get so much milk. My son is underweight and my doctor suggests a lot of milk. My son only drinks milk, water and oj. Hope this helps.

There is some word on the street that too much soy inhibits a boys growth, not sure if that is true or not. Try goat milk, it is a smaller protien and may work for him. It is given a lot to premies that can't do cows. Rice milk maybe too. Good luck.

The doctor may be telling you to limit milk intake of your 13 month old because with many children if they are drinking a lot of milk they won't eat food. I know even for my 4 year old who is slender she would rather drink her calories than eat food. If she has a glass of milk (or juice for that matter) before a meal she will barely eat. My first child who stopped drinking milk when I took the bottle away from her is just the opposite. She eats a wide variety of foods.
Just a thought, but ask your ped for their reasoning.

My guess is it is because for some kids that is all they end up eating/drinking. I could never understand why people give their kids milk at every meal. OK, if you have to, but give it to them when they are done eating, otherwise they'll be too full to eat. I wouldn't worry about your situation, as long as your son is eating a variety of other foods, not just filling up on his soy milk.
M.

To my knowledge, it's because he needs to get calories from sold food as well, and when he's drinking too much milk, he's not getting calories and nutrients from the solids he should also be eating.

Hi H.,
I would caution you on the intake and what it indicates. Soy as well as Milk (dairy products) are very hard to digest and strangely enough when kids crave it like that, it is indicative of an insensitivity sometimes. If he is milk intolerant, he may be soy intolerant. Try rice milk (Pacific Brand) and see if that doesn't work. It is much easier to digest. Milk has a lot of fat content, this is why the warn you to limit the intake. If you were nursing that would not be a worry. Breastmilk has nutrients regular milk does not have and you can not over feed a breast fed baby, you can over feed a bottle fed baby. So, watch the dependency as it will cause him to store up fat that will store for life.
Good luck

Milk and dairy in general can constipate people. The only good dairy to eat on a regular basis is yogurt with the probiotics in it.

I don't think a kid drinking mostly milk during the day is a bad thing. It's way better than him drinking juice or soda all day long. But if he isn't pooping at least once a day or if his poops are hard or pellet like, you might want to consider cutting down on the milk to see if that helps.

And for adults, you are considered constipated if you don't go at least once a day. In fact, with a healthy digestive system you should be going twice a day. I know that seems weird since most doctors say it is normal if you go every other day or just once a day. But ask most nutritionists or herbalists and they will say twice a day represents a healthy digestive system.

Some kids are very allergic to soy. And they can develop an allergy to soy over time. Plus the soy industry is not as regulated as the dairy industry as far as pesticides and growing processes go. So unless you get organic soy milk, I would avoid it since they put artificial growth hormones in non-organic soy beans. You could try rice milk since your son is lactose intolerant. My son has been drinking brown rice milk since he was 2 years old (he is now 3.5) and so have I since I am a little lactose intolerant. My son has no problem with regular milk, I just give him mostly rice milk since it actually has more vitamins and nutrients in it than whole milk. For my daughter who just turned 1, we will start her on organic whole milk and keep her on it for a year unless she has an allergy to it. Then we will switch her to rice milk as well. The only reason we are giving her whole milk is because it has more natural fat in it than rice milk does which a baby of her age needs to help develop her brain. Another good option for kids with milk allergies or lactose intolerance is goats milk. I know a number of kids who drink it with no problems. My ped also recommended Kefir if my daughter has problems with the whole milk. You can find the rice milk, goats milk, and Kefir at places like Sprouts, WHole Foods, or Henry's Marketplace.

like a lot of the other moms have said, my pediatrician said the same because of calories... too much milk will fill him up and cut into other food intake... my son has been drinking lots of milk and water as of late and not eating that much so we have had to cut back...

I don't know why they'd tell you to limit soy milk. But cows' milk can be constipating. As far as adults are concerned, too much calcium can cause Kidney stones --- happened to me -- I like milk (non-fat) -- always thought is was healthier for me than soda or juice, but now I was told to limit my calcium -- osteoporosis anyone?

I think one major reason is that if your child is drinking several glasses of milk a day, that's a lot of calories and excess calories really do add up over time and make for one hefty kid. Water should be the drink of choice.

Hi H.,

My youngest daughter is 4 and in her case I have limit her milk intake because she gains weight. I have to limit the amount she drinks or switch to one percent in order to maintain a healthy weight. She currently weights about 50 pounds.

A.

About me: I am a work at home mom. I run a daycare from my home and am the mother of two beautiful girls. One is four and the other is 19 attending UCR.

I know you already have a lot of responces...but here is another idea...My pediatrician actually doesn't like his patients having much milk at all, and not juice, and primarily just water. Humans aren't really meant to drink cows milk or milk from animals period is one reason he gave me. Water is the best drink for the body and has the minerals and nutrients and should be getting more vitamins etc from the other foods we eat. Milk among others is a concern with how obeise our society is. We all should be drinking as much water as we can...since that is what are bodies are made of. If you want to give milk use fat free or 1% and push the water. Juice is basically like soda for children and should be limited. I only give my kids orange juice with breakfast and in small amounts. Try not to give your child a substance in order to calm down...just let him cry and learn to self calm...that is very important otherwise your going to be hating life as he gets older. My daughter loves milk too...but another reason for me to push just water is for health. I explain to her that the doctor wants us to drink more water and not very much milk and she understands. Hope this helps! Deffinetly ask your doctor specificaly his/her reason just for further understanding.

H.,

Doctors recommend that you limit milk intake because the more milk they drink, the less food they eat and milk is not a complete source of nutrition. Soy milk is relatively low in fat and protein but high in sugar. There are also a lot of plant estrogens in it and it really isn't an optimal source of nutrition for a young child. I know with my kids if I don't monitor how much milk they drink they will drink milk and not eat much.

Have you taken your child to an allergist or a pediatric GI doctor? It is unusual for a child that age to be lactose intolerant but not unusual at all to have dairy protein intolerance or allergy. My 19 month old is intolerant to dairy and allergic to soy. He was breastfed until 17 months so I know he's not lactose intolerant - there is way more lactose in human breastmilk than cow's milk. The reason I point out the difference is because if your child is allergic or intolerant to dairy proteins you will need to watch what he eats or he could get very sick. My son can't drink milk (cow or soy or goat), can't eat cheese, can't have yogurt and he can't even tolerate hidden dairy or soy in other foods (like breads). Untreated food intolerances can make the intestines bleed, lead to anemia, failure to thrive, etc... It is better to know what you are dealing with sooner rather than later.

T.

T.

Did you ask your pediatrician? I could be because he doesn't want your son to get most of his calories from milk at this age. He should be eating 3 meals and 2 snacks by now... At 13 months my son had a bottle in the morning, at night, and before nap time.

I beleive the reason is that while it hydrates like water, it also has calories unlike water and fills them up. Part of that is fine, but if they have too much of the milk and not enough of other things, they are missing out on a varied diet and thus lots of other vitamins that are in other foods, but not milk. Milk (or rather calcium) also inhibits the absorportion of iron into the blood, which is another reason.

-M

I think one reason is constipation.-AM

Hi H.,
The main reason I know of is that anemia is fairly common when they're that little and filling up on milk instead of iron-rich foods can contribute to iron-deficiency anemia. I don't know if this helps--knowing the reason doesn't necessarily make it any easier. Maybe making sure that when he eats solids that you get in some good iron-rich foods will at least help to prevent this problem. Good luck!
M.

The reason to limit milk intake is because it will fill him up and he won't get all the nutrition that he needs from other foods like vegetables and fruits. 2 really excellent books on children's nutrition are "Superimmunity for Kids" by Leo Galland, M.D. and "The Truth About Children's Health" by Robert Bernardini, M.S. If either of my 2 children had been lactose intolerant, I would have tried hemp milk or almond milk, and you can easily make your own almond milk. Just do a search on the internet. From what I understand, a lot of sugar has to be added to soy milk to make it palatable. HTH, S.

As a mother of 4 (2 are adults) and a Licensed Midwife, I don't know why a doctor would tell you to limit milk intake, either. Whole milk is an important food source, Calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones is essential for your sons growth. If he's lactose intolerant, have you tried SILK soy milk and possibly fortified rice milk? Both are available at Trader Joe's or Henry's.

My pediatrician always talked about limiting milk intake around 1 year of age, but I have 4 boys and they all drink soy milk - not lactose intolerant, just prefer it, and so do I. They still drink a lot of it, and when they were still drinking sippy cups would sometimes have 6 cups a day... I think the limiting of milk intake has to do with the fat content of cow's milk. With soy milk, the fat is much less and they actually get protein, so I wouldn't worry too much. My boys are 6 1/2, 4 1/2, 3 and 1 and are all very healthy - no problems, and our pediatrician knows they are on soy milk and that they drink a lot (we go through almost 8 gallons a week).
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.