When To Introduce Cows' Milk?

You want the best nutrition for your growing child. So, when should they start to drink milk? This age-old question pops up in parenting groups daily, so we're here to share when and how to introduce milk to toddlers.

When To Introduce Cows' Milk?

The primary source of nutrition for children under the age of one is obtained from breast milk or infant formula, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, with some solid foods being introduced around 4-6 months. During this time, dairy nutrition can be obtained from foods like milk or yogurt but it's best to wait until after their first birthday to introduce fluid cows' milk so it doesn't displace the recommended quantities of breast milk or formula. 

If you choose to introduce cows' milk with a first birthday cake, choose plain, unflavored milk like a2 Milk® Whole. With only natural A2 protein, it’s easier on digestion, and can nurture brain development  and growth during these formative toddler years. After the age of 2, the best milk for kids is low fat or non-fat milk, like a2 Milk® 2% reduced fat, which contains the same nutrients as whole milk, with less saturated fat.

Always chat with your pediatrician before making nutritional changes for your child, including switching from baby formula or breast milk to cows' milk. introducing cows’ milk. If there is a history of dairy allergies in your family, or your baby was previously on a hypoallergenic formula, discuss safe milk options for your growing child to fit specific health needs.

How to Transition Your Child to Cows' Milk

If you and your baby are both ready to make the switch, start practicing with cows' milk in a bottle or no-spill training cup. You may want to warm the milk to make it feel familiar or you can mix it in with breast milk or formula, gradually increasing the ratio of cows' milk.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends offering cows' milk for one bottle a day while still breastfeeding or preparing bottled formula. Gradually increase the amount of cows' milk served each week until you've fully transitioned. Each child is unique, so there is no set timeline for the weaning process.

At age one, your child should drink approximately 2-3 cups of milk daily and eat a variety of foods. Since your child is starting to eat solids, you can continue offering milk as part of mealtime in addition to a beverage. We think this recipe for Cauliflower mac & cheese bites is perfect for little fingers. Or, does your child love mashed potatoes? This simple recipe comes together quickly using creamy a2 Milk® Whole.

Ready to add extra milk to your weekly shopping list? a2 Milk® is here to provide your family with better protein, naturally. Browse our current assortment of milk to decide which ones are best for your growing family.


The a2 Milk® difference

Our a2 Milk® comes from cows that naturally produce only the natural A2 protein. a2 Milk® is 100% real milk that’s easier on digestion and may help some avoid discomfort.

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