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Children's Health

Whole milk or 2% milk for toddlers

03/27/2009

Question:

Should 2 year olds be given whole milk or 2% milk?  My 2 year old`s height and weight gain is normal so is it ok if I give him 2% milk instead of whole milk that I have been giving him so far?

Answer:

It is absolutely fine to be giving your child 2% milk or even fat free milk if she is growing well. Fat free or skim milk has a higher protein level than milk with fat. Protein fuels growth well and cannot be converted into fat. Whole milk is still recommended from age 12 months to age 24 months by the AAP, although this may change when new guidelines are released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as the new dietary guidelines for Americans in 2010. The American Academy of Pediatrics now supports the change to low fat or fat free milk at two years of age, as stated in the following article published in July, 2008 in Pediatrics, their official journal:  "Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular Health in Childhood" by Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD, Frank R. Greer, MD and the Committee on Nutrition.

I hope this is helpful!

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University