When can i use cows milk in baby food
Cow’s Milk and Milk Alternatives | Nutrition
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Your growing child needs vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones. Pasteurized, whole cow’s milk and soy beverages that have been fortifiedalert icon with vitamin D are good sources of vitamin D and calcium. Most cow’s milk sold in the United States is fortified with vitamin D.
Choose milk or milk alternatives that are unflavored and unsweetened. Flavored cow’s milk and fortified soy beverages can have added sugars. Your child does not need added sugars.
When Should I Introduce My Child to Cow’s Milk?
At 12 months old (but not before), your child can be introduced to cow’s milk. Before your child is 12 months old, cow’s milk may put him or her at risk for intestinal bleeding. It also has too many proteins and minerals for your baby’s kidneys to handle and does not have the right amount of nutrients your baby needs.
How Much, and How Often?
Cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages can be a part of a child’s balanced and diverse diet but not the only thing. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend children aged 12 through 23 months get 1⅔ to 2 cup equivalents of dairy a day, including cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified soy beverages, and soy-based yogurt. If your child drinks too much cow’s milk, he or she may not be hungry for other foods with important nutrients. Some experts say that consuming too much cow’s milk can make it harder for your child’s body to absorb the iron he or she needs from foods.
Continue to follow your child’s cues to decide when he or she is hungry or full. Talk with your child’s doctor or nurse for more questions about adding cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages in his or her diet.
Whole Cow’s Milk or Lower Fat Cow’s Milk?
Children can drink unflavored, unsweetened whole cow’s milk. Whole cow’s milk is the same as lower fat cow’s milk except that it is higher in fat. It is important for young children to get fat in their diet for healthy growth and development. If your child has excessive weight gain or a family history of obesity, high cholesterol or triglycerides, or cardiovascular disease, talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about the type of cow’s milk to give.
Raw milk and raw milk products from cows, goats, and sheep can carry harmful bacteria and other germs that can make your child very sick and can be life-threatening. Raw milk can also be called unpasteurized milk. Do not give your child raw or unpasteurized milk.
Milk alternatives can include beverages made from plants, such as soy, oat, rice, coconut, cashew, and almond.
If you choose a milk alternative, here are things to remember:
- Milk alternatives should not be given before 12 months.
- Fortified soy beverages are the only milk alternative that help meet a child’s recommended dairy needs.
- Choose one that is unflavored and unsweetened. Your child does not need added sugars.
- Choose one that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Check labels, since nutrient content can vary between brands.
- Talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about the milk alternative you are using, because the vitamins and minerals in these types of milks are different than in cow’s milk.
Visit Vitamins & Minerals to learn more about the vitamins and minerals your child needs.
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Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors
In this Article
- When Can Your Baby Drink Milk?
- Why Formula and Not Cow’s Milk?
- How to Start Cow’s Milk for Babies
- Types of Milk to Feed Your Child
Cow’s milk is a great source of protein, calcium, and calories for growing children. You shouldn’t give cow’s milk to your baby too early, though.
When Can Your Baby Drink Milk?
It’s best to feed your baby only breast milk until 6 months of age. If you can’t breastfeed, you can give them infant formula. You can start introducing pureed foods at 6 months, but they shouldn’t have cow’s milk until they are 12 months or older.
Sometimes babies start to wean on their own between 6 and 12 months and sometimes moms choose to wean at this time. If your or your baby wean before they are 12 months, you should give your baby infant formula.
After 12 months of age, your baby can have whole cow’s milk instead of breast milk or formula. At this age, they don’t need an infant or toddler formula.
Why Formula and Not Cow’s Milk?
Babies need the nutrients from breast milk or formula to grow. As your baby grows, your breast milk changes to meet their needs.
Breast milk also has antibodies that help protect your baby from getting sick, but breastfed babies also have a lower risk of other diseases, including:
- Ear infections
- Type 1 diabetes
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Gastrointestinal problems
Cow’s milk doesn’t have the right nutrition or any of these benefits for your baby.
Iron. Cow’s milk does not have enough iron for your baby. This can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. If your baby doesn’t get enough iron, it could lead to developmental delays.
Protein. Milk also has a lot of protein. Too much protein can stress your baby’s kidneys, which aren’t developed enough yet.
Milk protein can also irritate your baby’s intestinal lining, which can cause bleeding. This can lead to blood loss in their stool.
Vitamin C. Milk is also lacking in vitamin C. Your baby needs vitamin C to help build their immune system and to absorb iron.
Fat. Cow’s milk doesn’t have the right kind of fat that babies need to grow. Fat is an important source of calories and essential vitamins for your baby.
Digestion. Your baby has a young digestive system, which means they can’t digest milk as easily as they can digest breast milk or formula.
Giving cow’s milk or other milk instead of formula or breast milk before age one can stop your baby from growing well. Don’t give your baby:
- Evaporated milk
- Dried milk
- Condensed milk
- Powdered milk
- Rice milk
- Oat milk
- Almond milk
- Any drink called “milk”
How to Start Cow’s Milk for Babies
Your baby can start drinking milk when they are 12 months old. If you are breastfeeding, you can slowly start to wean over a few weeks. The World Health Organization recommends mothers breastfeed until 2 years, but you can choose to stop earlier.
As you stop breastfeeding, you will make less breast milk. You can wean your baby off formula and switch to cow’s milk, too.
To give your child cow’s milk:
- Use whole milk that’s fortified with vitamin D.
- Start by replacing one feeding per day with a sippy cup or a regular cup of whole cow’s milk. If your baby doesn’t like it, mix 1/2 cow’s milk and 1/2 breast milk or formula. Slowly lower the ratio over time.
- Slowly replace other feedings with cow’s milk until you are no longer breastfeeding or using formula.
Take a few weeks to wean. This slowly introduces your child to the new milk and helps your body adjust. Suddenly stopping breastfeeding can cause swollen and sore breasts.
If your baby doesn’t use a bottle, start with sippy cups or cups instead of bottles. It’s best to have your baby stop using bottles by 12 months of age. Babies shouldn’t go to sleep with bottles because it can lead to cavities.
Types of Milk to Feed Your Child
Your child needs a specific kind of cow’s milk to make sure they get everything they need. It should be:
- Whole milk
- Fortified with vitamin D
- Not raw
Flavored milk has too much sugar for children.
If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk, you can give milk alternatives like soy, almond, or oat milk. They should be:
- Fortified with calcium
- Fortified with vitamin D
If you give any of these alternatives to your child, talk to your doctor about nutrition. These milks have different vitamins. You might need to add other foods to keep their diet balanced.
Your child can have at least 2 servings of whole milk every day, or about 8 to 10 ounces. These should be served as drinks and not as meals. Limit the amount of milk they drink to no more than 24 ounces of whole milk in 1 day. Once your child turns 2, they can switch to 2% milk.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding habits or nutrition, talk to your doctor.
how many months to enter the baby
Cow's milk has long been considered the only alternative to mother's milk and was widely used when the mother was unable to breastfeed. But as more and more in-depth research was carried out on allergies in children and individual food intolerances, it became more and more obvious: cow's milk is not the best food for babies. However, this product should not be underestimated. It will become an excellent component of a child's diet if you know when a child can enter cow's milk on the menu and how to do it correctly. nine0003
- Why cow's milk should not be given to babies
- At what age should cow's milk be introduced
- How to introduce cow's milk into a child's diet
- How to understand that cow's milk is poorly tolerated
- the child has milk intolerance
- Which milk to prefer
Why cow's milk should not be given to babies
Today, when there are high-quality adapted formulas for children, cow's milk can be considered obsolete in the diet of an infant. And introduced into the baby’s menu ahead of time, it can even harm. The reasons are as follows. nine0003
Cow's milk protein. This ingredient may cause unwanted reactions in the child's immune system. This is due to the fact that immature children's immunity perceives this protein as a foreign element that should be fought.
Different ratio of nutrients, vitamins, macro- and microelements in cow's and human milk. For example, there are several times more calcium and phosphorus in cow's milk than is required for the growth and development of a child. And an excess of these substances can disrupt the "biochemical harmony" in the baby's body. But iron in cow's milk is much less than in women's milk, which can lead to iron deficiency anemia in infants. nine0003
At what age can a drink be introduced?
Of course, cow's milk is a valuable and nutritious product. But only on condition that the child's body is ready to fully absorb it. Therefore, if you need to find out how many children can have cow's milk, you need to focus not on the opinion of the parents of the older generation, who often simply had no choice in case of problems with breastfeeding, but on the recommendations of pediatricians.
IMPORTANT! Most infant nutrition experts recommend avoiding cow's milk until at least 8 months of age. But even at this age, children should not drink whole milk. It can be used to prepare cereals or other dishes. And as the main product of baby food, cow's milk can be introduced into the children's menu no earlier than the child is 2 years old. nine0003
At this age, the baby's body is already ready to use all the benefits of this product without health risks. But nevertheless, the opinions of experts on the issue of when a child can have cow's milk differ somewhat - let's present several positions.
- World Health Organization . WHO considers it possible to introduce cow's milk into the diet of an infant (as a drink) from 9–12 months. The use of this product in small quantities in cooking is recommended from 6-9months.
- Russian Union of Pediatricians. The organization recommends the introduction of whole cow's milk into the diet of a child by the end of the first year of life and considers it unacceptable for children under 6 months of age due to the poor digestibility of protein by their immature digestive tract.
- E. O. Komarovsky, pediatrician . A well-known doctor advises not to start giving cow's milk to babies under 1 year old. The daily dose for babies aged 1 to 3 years should be limited to one serving (200 ml) per day, after 3 years - up to two servings. nine0010
How to introduce cow's milk into your baby's diet
As when introducing any new product into your baby's diet, the basic rules of complementary foods must be followed when introducing cow's milk. But they should be supplemented with a few more.
- Cow's milk cannot be used as a standalone product - it is allowed to cook milk porridge or bring already cooked porridge to the desired consistency with milk.
- For the first 2-3 weeks, milk should be diluted with water at a ratio of 1:3 (one part milk to three parts water). This will reduce the fat content of the milk and make it easier on the baby's digestive system. nine0010
- Introduce milk into the diet in small quantities. Start with one teaspoon, and within 1-1.5 weeks you can bring this amount to 100 ml (provided that the baby tolerates the new product well).
Cow's milk allergy
IMPORTANT! According to the Russian Federation Feeding Optimization Program, cow's milk, along with chicken eggs, seafood, fish, soy, peanuts, nuts and wheat, is among the eight foods that most often cause an allergic reaction. nine0003
In general, food allergens are any substances (usually of a protein nature) that stimulate the production of immunoglobulin E or a cellular immune response. At the same time, cow's milk protein is the leading allergen in early childhood in terms of clinical significance. In the first year of a child's life, there is a peak incidence of true allergy to cow's milk protein (2-3% among infants), then - by 5 years - about 80% of children develop tolerance, and by the age of 6 the incidence rate is less than 1% . nine0003
How to know if cow's milk is not well tolerated
With the introduction of cow's milk into the children's menu, you need to carefully monitor the well-being of the baby in order to understand whether he tolerates the new product well. The following signs may indicate that the baby is not yet ready for milk.
Any changes in the skin. This may be a dry rash or small blisters, redness, dry, scaly patches, crusts, and other changes.
Digestive disorders. nine0028 Frequent and loose stools or their retention, flatulence, changes in the consistency and color of feces - any of these symptoms that appear after the introduction of cow's milk indicates the need to exclude this product.
General symptoms. Intolerance to cow's milk protein can be indicated by hidden signs, such as sleep problems (the child often wakes up, his sleep is restless and superficial), decreased appetite, etc.
already tested diet and do not change it for 1-2 weeks. nine0003
What to do if your child has a milk intolerance
For many parents, the fact that the baby reacted badly to milk becomes a real shock. This is not surprising: in one form or another, milk is found in a huge number of dishes and ready-made products, which means that the child will have to avoid such food for the rest of his life. But it's not as dramatic as it seems.
IMPORTANT! Unpleasant symptoms that occur after the introduction of cow's milk into the diet most often indicate the immaturity of the digestive and / or immune system. And after some time, when the baby's body is ready, the milk will begin to be fully absorbed and benefit. But it is extremely important to immediately abandon cow's milk if any signs of trouble are observed. In this case, it is much less likely that a temporary reaction to this product will be fixed as a permanent one. nine0003
See also: Cow or goat milk for babies
What kind of milk to prefer
Another common question that worries parents: what kind of milk is preferable in a baby's diet? It can be answered unambiguously: milk labeled as “baby food”. It is already ready for use and has undergone ultra-pasteurization, which destroyed all pathogens. And the addition of minerals and vitamins to milk makes this product even more valuable for the child's body. Homemade cow's milk should be excluded. This product is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, and even prolonged boiling is not always able to destroy them. In addition, the composition of milk varies greatly depending on the conditions of the animal and its nutrition. Therefore, when purchasing the “best” milk from a domestic cow, you can buy a product that is not tasty, but at best a product with dubious nutritional value or even inhabited by dangerous microbes. nine0003
But in any case, if you decide to introduce cow's milk into your baby's diet, consult your pediatrician first. The doctor will give individual recommendations, taking into account the health and development of your baby.
#Nutrition for children under two years of age #Complementary foods
At what age can cow's milk be given to a child
Reviewer Kovtun Tatyana Anatolievna nine0003
December 16, 2021
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Until recently, everyone was talking about the positive impact of milk on people of all ages. But recently the situation has changed, and now more and more experts disagree. At what age can you give milk to a child and what are the restrictions?
Benefits and harms of cow's milk
There was a belief that children have special lactoenzymes that can break down protein from cow's milk, but they disappear with age. Recent studies have refuted this theory - a person with a healthy digestive system, not allergic to cow's milk protein or lactose intolerance (lactase deficiency), can drink milk until old age.
Milk contains calcium in an easily digestible form: with it, the baby's teeth and bones will be strong. It is important to remember that milk is a nutritious product, so if the baby is thirsty, it is better to give him some water. Unlimited milk can cause digestive and metabolic disturbances, so moderation is important. nine0003
FrutoNyanya produces milk for baby food. It has a balanced content of calcium, prebiotic inulin and iodine. You can learn more about what stages it goes through from the video on the FrutoNyanya YouTube channel.
When can children be given milk
Can babies drink cow's milk? Yes, but with certain restrictions. Babies of different ages have their own milk requirements. Most often, pediatricians advise giving milk in the following quantities: nine0003
- children under 12 months of age should not be given milk as a separate food product, only as part of a meal after consulting a pediatrician;
- children from 1 to 3 years old can drink one serving per day - this is 200 milliliters;
- after 3 years, the number of servings can be increased to two.
What kind of cow's milk to give to a child
As a first acquaintance, it is better to choose ultra-pasteurized milk. During ultra-pasteurization, bacteria die, due to which the milk begins to deteriorate quickly, and the beneficial components of the milk remain in place. Yes, the value of such milk will be slightly less than that of the freshest steam, but these measures guarantee the safety of the product for the child and increase the shelf life. It is also important that baby milk is produced in separate workshops where quality standards are strictly observed. nine0003
Often, baby milk is enriched with vitamin complexes and prebiotics, which help the baby's digestive tract, protect the immune system and promote rapid growth.
How and in what form to give milk
It is better not to give milk immediately after a meal, as it does not go well with some foods. Optimally - for a second breakfast or afternoon snack, in combination with cookies or bakery products. You can also dilute milk-free baby cereals with milk or cook your baby’s favorite cereal cereals on its basis. nine0003
Even industrial ultra-pasteurized milk is better to warm up to 37 degrees - so the child will be more comfortable drinking it.
Why children under one year old should not have cow's milk
Babies under one year old should not be given cow's milk as a separate food product at all - their delicate gastrointestinal tract, immature excretory system and metabolism are not yet ready to assimilate this product  .
Signs of intolerance to cow's milk in children
Some babies may not have enough lactase in their intestines, a special enzyme responsible for the breakdown of milk sugar. Usually, with age, the enzyme systems of the digestive tract mature and everything is getting better. And if lactase deficiency is congenital, then, depending on its severity, dairy products are excluded from the diet or replaced with low-lactose ones.
Pay close attention to your baby's reaction to the new product. An allergy to cow's milk in a child can be manifested by skin itching, upset stool, nausea or vomiting. In this case, it is better to refuse the product and seek the advice of a pediatrician. nine0003
Milk is a very useful addition to the diet, and if the child does not have an unpleasant reaction to it in the form of a skin rash or digestive disorders, then after consulting with a specialist, you can include it in the permanent menu.
*Breast milk is the best food for a young child.