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Entries in milk (4)

Monday
May262014

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).

 

Friday
Feb072014

FYI: Milk, It Does a Body Good (even when sick)

Like most doctors, I spend a lot of time teaching parents how to help their kids feel better while they are sick.  I run through the list of things that may be helpful, depending on the age of your child and whatever is ailing them.  Tylenol and Motrin for fever or aches and pains, honey for cough, Vick's vapor rub  and bulb suctioning (especially my beloved Nose Frida) for nasal congestion and on and on.   I often get a surprised smile from a child when I recommend ice cream or a milkshake to soothe a sore throat - especially when I emphatically say "Ice cream for this kiddo.  Doctors orders!"  But parents sometimes are suprised to hear me encourage dairy while their child is sick.  

Turns out, there is a common misbelief that dairy products (milk especially) should not be given to kids when they have a cold or a fever.  Some people are worried that the milk increases mucus or phlegm production. Others worry that milk will turn sour or cause an stomachache for someone who has a fever.

But let's set the record straight!  There is no scientific or biologic reason to avoid milk when you are sick with a fever or a respiratory illness such as a cold. (Though gastrointestinal or stomach bugs are a slightly different story as we do recommend avoiding milk immediately after vomiting of in some cases of chronic diarrhea).

A great study was published on this subject in the 1990s.  Researchers

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Tuesday
Jun042013

The Dairy Dilemma: Alternative Milk Options for Toddlers

At one year of age, we start to talk about the transition from breast milk or formula to whole milk, as a child’s diet starts to become more based on calories from foods as opposed to liquid calories. In fact, children don’t require nearly as much milk as you might think after a year (only 12-16 oz per day!). It’s much more important that they eat a well balanced diet to get the vitamins and minerals that they need. (Quick caveat: if you’re still breastfeeding, breast milk continues to be a great option, but after a year, your child will need a wide variety of supplemental foods to provide optimum nutrition).  

Inevitably during the same conversation, I get questions regarding alternative types of milk available – Are they safe? Can they replace cow’s milk? How much should my child drink? There are many reasons for choosing an alternative type of milk, most commonly milk/food allergies or dietary preference, but I encourage you to be informed when making the choice about the kind of alternative milk you offer your child. With that in mind, here’s a helpful guide to navigating the milk aisle at the grocery store….

 

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Tuesday
Sep042012

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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