What Kind of Milk is Best For Babies?

What Kind of Milk is Best For Babies?

What Kind of Milk is Best For Babies?

From breast milk to dairy, your baby needs a good source of calcium and protein. What kind is best for your baby?

Ages 0-12 Months

During your baby's first year, the digestive system is still developing. Your baby needs breast milk or infant formula. Breast milk is the nutrition recommended by pediatricians, especially for the first six months exclusively. Infant formula is made to resemble breast milk. Typically it is made from cow's milk in which the protein has been broken down so that it is easier to digest. After six months of age, your baby will be expanding their palate when it comes to solids. By this time they can start on yogurt and cheese.

Age 1 Year

Your baby is now a toddler and ready to start whole milk. Whole milk is important to their diet because they still need the healthy fat and calories for their continued growth and brain development. You will have to speak with your pediatrician if you are concerned about the choice of whole milk. Your baby will be fine, but your doctor may share your concern if there is a family history of heart disease, obesity, or high cholesterol.

Age 2 Years and Beyond

For children between the ages of 2 and 18, milk is still a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D, to name a few benefits. It doesn't matter if it comes from skim milk or whole milk because the nutritional value is similar though the fat and calories are not. The more table foods they eat, the more range of healthy fats they will have in their diet. Your child can still benefit from skim or 1% milk if they are getting fats from nut butters, olive oil, or even avocado. If you already drink reduced-fat milk, this is the age where they can get accustomed to drinking it and choose it later in life.