Milk has a lot of benefits for toddlers. It is high in protein, calcium, Vitamin D and fat. The fat is great for a developing child’s brain. The Vitamin D helps your little one absorb the calcium.
When a child is low on dietary calcium can be more prone to tooth and gum decay. If your child is drinking juice it could be exacerbating the tooth decay issue.
Additionally, your child might be missing out on the other nutrients found in milk.
Each child is different so you may need to try a number of options to find one that works for your little one.
Some children struggle with transitioning from breastmilk to cow’s milk or formula to cow’s milk.
Here Are A Few Tips To Try To Get Toddlers To Drink Milk:
- Try changing the sippy cups or bottles you are using. Try offering milk to your child in a cup with a straw. Make sure you hold the cup firmly to reduce the chances of spillage.
- Sometimes just changing what your child is using to drink the milk from can make them more likely to drink the milk. Fickle, aren’t they? Some kids prefer to drink water from one cup and milk from a different type of cup. Find out how to transition your baby to sippy cup.
- Try adding some formula to their milk to sweeten it at first. Cow’s milk is generally not as sweet as your breast milk so it can help to sweeten it. Then once your child has started drinking it readily, you can slowly add less and less formula until your child is used to the taste of milk.
- Same strategy as above, but instead you can add Carnation Good Start or Bright Beginnings Soy Pediatric Drink Vanilla to the milk and then start to put less and less each day until you’ve completely weaned.
- You can try adding a few drops of milk to their water to start flavoring it. This might get your child used to the taste of milk slowly. Then slowly continue adding more milk to the water until they are drinking primarily milk.
It’s Ok If Your Child Doesn’t Drink Milk
Hopefully, your little one is still eating cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc to make up for the calories, fats, and calcium he is not getting from drinking the milk. Make sure you are offering whole-fat cheeses and yogurts.
Kids need 50% of their calories to come from fats for brain development. Make sure your child is getting their healthy fats from other sources.
Did you know leafy and green vegetables are actually a better source of calcium than milk? Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so try to pair high calcium foods with Vitamin D.
Foods high in Vitamin D include cheese, egg yolks, fish oils, fatty fish like cod or salmon, mushrooms, and beef liver. Vitamin D is also naturally made by your body when you expose your skin to the sun, and is called the sunshine vitamin.
Use Milk In Your Cooking
My son hates eggs, at least right now. He doesn’t have an allergy to them. He just won’t eat them. So, I cook with a lot of eggs. I make French toast and douse the toast in eggs. I change up how I prepare eggs for him from hard boiled to quiches. He is getting more than enough eggs at this point, even if he doesn’t eat an egg in its natural state. I am not hiding eggs from him, but more incorporating eggs into his meals.
Find out why you should hide veggies and other foods from your kids.You can do the same with milk. If your child loves Mac and Cheese, use milk instead of water to make it, plus your child is getting calcium from the cheese. When a recipe calls for water, see if you can replace it with milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
Also, try offering all types of cheeses from string, shredded, cubed, spliced, to see if your child likes one over another. My kids love Muenster, Mozzarella, Sharp Cheddar, Colby, etc. My twins loves Feta. Add different kinds of cheeses to your meals. Add cheese to broccoli and/or add it to a cauliflower bake. Plus all this cheese can make your veggies taste better.
And, you can use yogurts as a dip for fruits and vegetables. You are only limited by your imagination. Don’t forget about using cream cheese and sour cream too. You can use them in your cooking and as dips or spreads on sandwiches.
Smoothies are a great way to get kids to eat calcium-rich foods. Check out these different recipes on Pinterest.
Also, speak with your Pediatrician. It’s important to discuss these types of issues with your doctor.
Has Your Child Started Drinking Milk? Share Your Experiences.
What are some ways you get your kids to eat/drink calcium-rich foods?
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