How to Give Dairy to Toddlers: 3 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Transitioning to using a cup can help you banish bottles.

You may have heard some nasty rumors about the Terrible Twos, but having a toddler also means adapting your norm for your child's changing tastes and nutritional needs. While you might still be investing a small fortune in diapers, you're probably done with spending money on whole fat milk. Instead, toddlers are typically fine to drink 1 percent milk, as long as your pediatrician gives the go-ahead. Just make sure you keep a sharp eye out for allergic reactions or other possible problems while giving your toddler dairy.


  1. 1
    Wait until your toddler's second birthday before you make the switch from whole milk to 1 percent milk. Until then, your little one needs the calories and nutrition found in whole milk -- switching over too early could have your little one missing out on the fat and calories vital to development. Before you make the switch, clear it with your child's pediatrician at his 24-month appointment.
  2. 2
    Offer milk in a sippy cup. Choosing one with a favorite character can make your little one more apt to choose milk over sugary juices and sodas. An added bonus? Sippies are way more portable, so you can take your child's milk on the go with you.
  3. 3
    Offer two to three servings of dairy each day, with each serving being 8 oz. Not all servings need to be cow's milk; if your little one turns his nose up at a cup of milk but loves cheese and yogurt, it's find to make up some of that requirement with dairy products rather than just straight milk. Experiment with different dairy products to see what your child likes the most.


  • Watch your child for reactions when you introduce diary, like runny stool, upset stomach, cramps or vomiting -- signs of lactose intolerance and milk allergies. If your little one doesn't tolerate milk well, talk to your pediatrician. Other types of milk -- soy, goat, hemp and almond, for example -- can be swapped out for kids who are sensitive to cow's milk. Your pediatrician can also look for other food sensitivities and allergies so you're prepped and informed for future diet issues.

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