August 13, 2006,
A.T. asks from Odessa, TX on August 11, 2006
Hey all, I have a question. My 19 mo old does not care for whole milk. I have tried mixing flavors in it and everything. I make sure she gets calcium through other sources every day like she loves chees sticks, yogurt, ice cream, juice with calcium in it, oatmeal with milk instead of water etc. I have recently noticed though that if the milk is 2% she will drink more of it than if it is whole milk. I heard that the whole milk is just for the fats to help them with weight gain. Is this true. Is it ok to let her just have 2% instead if it means I can get more calcium in her? How much dairy should she be having? I have heard 2-3 oz a day and then others I see having noting but milk all day everyday.
T.L. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2006
Hi A., it's T.. I wouldn't worry about it...my daughter has been drinking 1% and Skim since she was about 14months. Her Pedi said that was fine because she was getting other sources of calcium in the form of cheese & yogurt (oh, and don't forget the daily vitamins!). To this day, and she's almost 4, she prefers milk and water to juice ANY DAY. Yes, it's true, whole milk can be a bad thing for any child, WAY too much sugar for kids which can lead to all kinds of problems (might as well be giving them juice in a bottle at night and soda in a sippy cup! Know what I mean?!) But be glad she's drinking milk at all. I know some kids who won't drink milk for anything and other kids who won't even drink water! Can you believe that?! So my non-professional opinion is chuck the whole milk and give the kid 2% or less! It's a healthier choice and that's not a bad thing to start young.
A.S. answers from Dallas on August 12, 2006
I'd ask the doctor first of course. Then if you are still worried add a bottle of pediasure to her diet. It has all the vitamins and my son LOVES it! It's kind of sweet! My doc also said that if my son gains good weight we could talk about putting him on 2% at 2 years... hope it helps some.
H.M. answers from Dallas on August 13, 2006
My 22 month old is no longer a big fan of milk these days either. I just make sure he gets enough calcium and fats from other sources. At age two they recommend switching to 2% anyway so be thankful she'll drink that. My son loves drinkable yogurt so you might want to try that as another source.
S.G. answers from Dallas on August 11, 2006
My oldest wasn't a milk drinker either and his doctor always told me not to worry as long as he was getting the calcium with other things like cheese and yogurt which he loved and had daily! He is healthy other than allergies (not food just animals, grass, pollen and that type). Anyway, as far as the 2% I believe after age two they say to go to 2% anyway. So I say go for the 2% and keep up with the cheese and good snacks! Good luck!
M. answers from Dallas on August 12, 2006
My pediatrician said that the whole milk fats were necessary for the brain development - not weight gain. I've always switched mine over to skim at age 2. The calcium is the same, but the fat is less. I would let him drink whatever kind he wants, but use the whole in his food - like oatmeal, etc.
I'm with the kid - I think whole milk tastes disgusting, so thick. I could drink skim all day - but I've been drinking it for years. Good luck!
S.M. answers from Dallas on August 12, 2006
According to the American Dietetic Association, children between 12-24 months need the equivalent of 2 cups (16 oz) milk per day for the necessary calcium, this provoides about 600 mg of calcium per day. Yes, whole milk is recommended to give the extra fat and calories needed for growth, but if she will only drink 2% milk, you can get the fat in other ways (whole milk cheese- see below). 1 cup of whole milk has 8 grams of fat and 1 cup of 2% milk has 5 grams of fat- not a huge difference.
Here is the fat and calcium content of different foods:
8 oz whole milk- 8 g fat, 300 mg calcium
8 oz 2% milk- 5 g fat, 300 mg calcium
2 oz American cheese- 17.8 g fat, 300 mg calcium
1 1/2 oz cheddar cheese- 14.1 g fat, 300 mg calcium
1 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese- 6 g fat, 143 mg calcium
1/2 cup ice cream- 11 g fat, 128 mg calcium
6 oz low fat fruit flavored yogurt- 2 g fat, 258 mg calcium
Hope this helps!