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Unhealthy Habits To Prevent Child Obesity: Skim Milk for Toddlers

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Skim Milk , Low Fat or Whole Milk For Your Toddler?

Your baby is now one year old!  Congratulations on this big event for both you and them!  Your baby can now switch over from drinking formula to cow’s milk. Or have breast milk feedings supplemented with cow’s milk in a cup.  What type of milk to choose?  In general, medical advice is to offer whole milk at age one, preferably in a child’s cup.  But for some parents, worried that their toddler could develop weight problems,  skim milk is on the menu. Is this a healthy choice for your growing toddler?

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Offer Whole Milk to Your Toddler and Low Fat Milk to Your Child Over the Age of Two

Parents are  increasingly confronted with the rising epidemic of child obesity rates.  Of course, our reaction as caregivers should be using lifestyle preventive actions for our children to help them grow well, physically and mentally.  Who doesn’t want their children to be lean and healthy?  However, giving skim milk to your toddler to keep them “skinny” is not a healthy option for this age group.   I have met mothers, themselves concerned with their own body shape and weight who found it normal to start their one year olds on skim milk.  They didn’t want to see their kids getting big, especially their daughters. Based on your pediatrician’s advice, if your toddler has a balanced diet you could offer low-fat milk. But the basic advice is to generally to stick to whole milk for your one to two-year old child.  Why is this important?

WHY IS WHOLE MILK THE MILK OF CHOICE FOR TODDLERS?

3 main reasons

1.  Fat content:  Whole milk has higher fat content than skim milk.  Toddlers have smaller tummies. Adequate fat in their diet helps to keep their stomach full.

2.  Taste:  Whole milk tastes better and is better accepted by toddlers than skim milk.

3.  Calorie content:  Whole milk has more calories than skim milk.  Toddlers need caloric-rich foods as many tend to be picky eaters.  Toddlers also have increased growth requirements. Whole milk helps to meet these caloric needs.

A good dietary practice is no more than 16 ounces of milk (2 cups or 1 pint) in a day for your toddler.  Also it is better to offer milk than a sweetened beverage.   

If you have any questions or comments, please shout them out below.  And tune back in, more to come on dietary practices for your children. See also the “parent” article that started this series on child nutrition, “Are You Obsessed That Your Child May Become Obese?

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13 Responses to Unhealthy Habits To Prevent Child Obesity: Skim Milk for Toddlers

  1. REEM June 28, 2012 at 17:48 #

    Hi
    My name is REEM I have ms
    Since 91 I have a healthy 7 years old boy
    I was obese and I loos weight but so
    Worried of my boy to be obese he is good
    In weight but worried epically from junk
    So what I should do and what kind of milk
    Type .

    Thanks REEM

    • mbrighton July 3, 2012 at 06:08 #

      Hello REEM, apologies for the late reply. For a 7 year old boy I recommend 1 or 2 % milk, no more than 1 pint/daily (a pint is 2 cups). If your son is healthy weight now then continue to offer him healthy foods and keep junk food to special occasions. Keep him moving and avoiding too much television, computer and video games. Please let me know if you have any questions. Congrats on losing weight and stay positive for your other health challenges. Mary

  2. Julia September 29, 2011 at 18:35 #

    Great article! Babies and toddlers need fatty acids and cholesterol to build their brains.

    I have another article on milk (chocolate milk) on my blog http://smartparentprogram.blogspot.com/2010/08/dont-give-your-child-chocolate-milk.html.

    Parents need to reach that happy medium between not giving their kids junk food and erring in the opposite direction and giving them food that’s basically adult diet food!

    • mbrighton September 29, 2011 at 20:18 #

      Thanks Julia for your comment. Going to check out your blog. Appreciate your feedback and wise thoughts.

  3. Seguros Medicos September 12, 2011 at 21:03 #

    Ola! Mbrighton,
    I know what you mean, Whenever I practice sports I tend to sweat heavily, and in fact I have this problem with any serious activity. My body weight and cholesterol levels are normal and besides daily consumption of 2-3 beers there’s nothing unhealthy about my dietary habbits either. I eat plenty of fruit and veg and little saturated fat. Which leads me to ask
    Is the bodies sweat production partly something you are born with.? And is there any way that I can make my body sweat less
    Catch you again soon!

  4. Leen September 12, 2011 at 17:07 #

    Great post!
    What do you think about the “laits de croissance” they sell here in France?

    • mbrighton September 12, 2011 at 23:45 #

      Hi Leen! Thanks for your EXCELLENT question! Will be honest, never bought the follow up (lait de croissance) milk for my toddlers. They all had allergies and at one year we were doing rice milk and soy milk (although neither in high quantities, so had to supplement their diets with calcium). What I have heard was that the lait de croissance was a marketing technique from the formula companies. This milk is also more expensive and is more sweet than regular milk.
      However, this is probably only one side of the debate. You have sparked my curiosity and will do some research and write an article on these “lait de croissance” or follow up milks. Will let you know when it is published.
      Best to your sweet toddler!

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  3. Are You Obsessed That Your Child May Become Obese? | brightonyourhealth - September 12, 2011

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    RT @mbrighton66 Unhealthy Dietary Practices to Prevent Child Obesity: Skim Milk for Toddlers: At age one toddler… http://t.co/ZdyMWMA

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