As your child grows and develops, he or she needs essential vitamins and nutrients to ensure they remain on a very healthy track, but does skim milk have these? Before your child’s first birthday, the majority of these essential vitamins and nutrients are consumed through formula or breast milk. Once your child has celebrated their first birthday, you can introduce your child to milk.
There are so many types of milk out there. How do you know which is best for your baby? While your family may consume lower-fat types of milk, such as skim, these low-fat milks are not healthy for your baby.
When your baby is ready to drink milk, it is recommended to feed them whole milk (or cow’s milk). While some adults may not like the thick texture of whole milk, it has the greatest source of the essential vitamins and nutrients your child needs, including calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A, which are great for the body’s muscle, bone and teeth development.
Plus, the vitamins and minerals in milk help the body absorb other vitamins and nutrients they receive from other foods and gives your child a big boost of energy.
Can I Give My Baby Skim Milk? Answer: Whole Milk is Better
Whole milk also has more fat than other types of milk, and while it may seem strange, the higher fat content is really good for your baby’s development. In today’s health-concious society, it may be hard to give your child something so fatty, but their body is not the same as yours, and they need the fats in their diet to stay healthy. After your child’s third birthday, you can switch them over to a reduced-fat milk.
To ensure your child is receiving the best benefits of milk, they should consume anywhere from 16 to 24 ounces of milk per day. This amount will give them plenty of nutrients for healthy growth and development, and not fill them up so they can still enjoy other solid foods.
Making the Transition
Switching your child from breast milk or formula to whole milk can be a joyous day for some parents. A gallon of milk is cheaper than a canister of formula, and if you breastfeed, a gallon of milk is easier to feed to your child than pumping. When making the transition, though, some children may have trouble. Whole milk has a different taste and texture than formula and breast milk. If you notice your child is resistant to whole milk, you can try mixing it with formula or breast milk at first.
Most children will not notice a combination as long as the first mixture contains more formula or breast milk than whole milk. Over time, you can gradually shift the combination until your child is taking only whole milk.
Before you make the switch to whole milk, you need to make sure your child has celebrated his or her first birthday. As a young baby, your child needs certain essential vitamins and nutrients to grow big and strong, and these are only provided through breast milk or formula. Also, before your baby is one year old, their body cannot digest whole milk the same way an adult’s body can. Consuming whole milk before you child is ready can have negative affects on their body, growth and development.
Breastmilk and Formula is Best
Remember, whole is better than skim milk for your child to consume after he or she is one year old. Before then, breast milk and formula provide the essential amount of vitamins and nutrients your child needs. Whole milk is high in fat, which is great for your baby’s development. It also contains a great source of calcium, and helps develop strong muscles, bones and teeth. If your child seems to have trouble switching from breast milk or formula to whole milk, try combining whole milk with the breast milk or formula and gradually transition it until your child is solely consuming whole milk.
If you have any questions about whole or skim milk and feeding it to your baby, it is recommended to contact your child’s pediatrician. He or she will be able to further discuss your concerns in more detail.
Remember that milk is an essential part of your child’s diet, but do not give your baby skim milk until after his or her first birthday. If your child is refusing to make the transition, or if you believe your baby may have a milk allergy, it is always best to consult your child’s pediatrician for advice.