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Entries in cow's milk (3)


First Birthday and the Transition to Whole Milk 

Around the time that you're singing Happy Birthday to your babe, you'll also be introducing them to whole milk. Pediatric nutrition experts recommend that children between 1-2 years of age should drink 12-24 ounces of whole milk daily (older children should switch to low fat milk rather than whole milk). However, like all other milestones, some kids take the switch in stride, while others have a harder time adjusting. Here are some tips on easing the transition if you hit a few bumps in the road:

Introduce milk in a sippy cup at the times your child would have had a bottle or breastfed.  Try all sorts of sippy cups (sometimes the fancier cups are more problematic.  Many kids (my own included) initially prefered the cheaper "Take and Toss" variety to any of the more expensive "no spill" varieties.  Many parents opt for the "cold turkey" approach to stopping bottles and this works well for many kids. 

If Junior isn't too excited about the milk in a cup - try warming the milk at first (gradually you can warm it less and less until they accept cold milk straight from the fridge).

Be sure your child isn't filling up on other liquids (juice being the main culprit here).  Water is fine, but if juice is also an option, many kids will bypass the milk in favor of the juice all day long! 

Some kids refuse to drink the milk from a cup at first.  Don't panic! Here are two ways to tackle this problem.

- First, realize that milk is now just a small part of your child's overall nutrition (as opposed to the first 12 months of his life when milk was his main nutrition with solid foods taking a backseat to the formula or breastmilk).  If he refuses to drink milk, just increase dairy intake of other calcium rich foods (yogurt, cheeses, etc).  But be sure to look for products that also contain Vitamin D and/or discuss with your pediatrician whether your child may need any additional Vitamin D supplements.

- Mix it up.  To ease the transition to cow's milk, many parents find that mixing it with breast milk or formula works well.  For example, if your daughter has been taking a 6 ounce bottle of formula, start by mixing 5 ounces of formula with 1 ounce of whole milk. The next day, mix 4 ounces of formula with 2 ounces of milk. Each day continue increasing the amount of whole milk by one ounce and decrease the amount of formula by one ounce. 

But I warn against switching over to chocolate milk early on, as this usually results in a child who ultimately refuses regular milk (and is just frustrated that the chocolate milk isn't the option every time milk is presented).



Practical Parenting: Decoding Food Labels

In follow up to Dr. Barry’s recent post about organic foods, I thought I’d share some helpful information about decoding the various labels used to classify foods as “organic” and “natural” and “hormone free” etc.  As Dr. Barry said, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement in October 2012 stating that organic foods were not found to have any nutritional value above conventionally grown foods.  However, one caveat of their statement did concede that conventional foods typically do contain more pesticide residues than organic foods. 

While studies haven't shown a direct cause and effect relationship between pesticide exposure and specific health problems in children, there are concerns that chronic exposure to pesticides may be linked to various adult health problems and one study showed an increased risk of ADHD in children whose urine had higher levels of pesticide byproducts.  And research has shown that the primary form of exposure to pesticides in children is through dietary intake.  Interestingly, several studies have clearly demonstrated that an organic diet reduces children’s exposure to pesticides significantly (interestingly, one study showed that urinary pesticide residues were reduced to undetectable levels when kids were switched to an organic produce diet for just 5 days). 

While the research remains inconclusive, most experts agree that limiting pesticide exposure, especially in children, is ideal.  So do you find yourself, like I do, standing in the produce aisle and scratching your head as to what each label actually means?  You may be surprised to learn, that not all claims made on food labels are regulated. Here’s an overview of the most common “healthy sounding” label terms and what you should look for the next time you’re at the grocery store:

“Natural” and “All Natural” – There is absolutely no formal definition or any criteria for the designation “natural” on food labels.   There are no certifications or inspections required for these foods, so while they

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Milk for toddlers: does a body good? 

I get this question all the time at the 12 month checkup: How much cow’s milk should our child be getting now?

The answer: Less than you might think! After a year, children only need 12-16 oz of milk per day, which is a big transition from the first year of life when most nutrition is obtained from breast milk or formula.

Milk is a great source of calcium, fat, and vitamin D, which are important for the growth and development of toddlers. At the one year milestone, we recommend starting cow’s milk (whole milk) – but a common misconception is that cow’s milk completely takes the place of formula or breast milk in their diet. Instead, milk becomes more of a “side” rather than a “meal,” and children transition from drinking all of their calories to eating them in the form of solid foods.


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