Lose Baby Weight - Is My Child Drinking Too Much MilkMilk is a source of calcium, protein, vitamin A and B group vitamins for kids, but is there a point when they could actually be consuming too much?
While sources vary between 2-3 cups of milk per day for a toddler, different groups seem to offer different guidelines (which is confusing!).
Rather than become fastidious about counting the millilitres each day, just keep in mind the issues that can arise with excessive milk consumption and work back from there.

They might fill up on milk and not eat enough other food

This can lead to constipation as they aren’t getting enough fibre; it can cause problems with iron absorption (more on why iron is important here); it can also mean they are missing out on other vitamins and minerals as they aren’t consuming from all of the food groups.
If your child is fussing at meal times, try to avoid offering milk in the lead up to main meals. This might help as they will feel more hungry rather than feeling full from the milk. You can read more on ideas for coping with fussy eaters here.
Also try to avoid offering milk instead of a healthy snack at morning or afternoon tea. You could try offering milk only after a snack has been eaten first. Need some ideas for toddler friendly snacks? Check out our ideas here.
You can also be confident that offering water is a great choice for a toddler to drink.

They may drink lots of milk as well as eating their regular food

The calories in milk quickly add up. If your little one is eating their way through their meals and snacks each day as well as many cups of milk they can end up overdoing their recommended amount of calories per day for their age.
Of course children shouldn’t be concerned with their calories but there is still an ideal amount that they should eat each day in order to avoid excessive weight gain.
Check with your baby health clinic to see if your child is on track with their height and weight for their age.

The sugars in excessive amounts of milk can cause tooth decay

Milk contains around 5% lactose, and lactose is a form of sugar. Too much milk can mean that your child is overdoing it on the sugar which can cause problems with their teeth.
Also for toddlers, drinking milk from a bottle rather than a cup can cause issues with their teeth. It is best to have them use a cup from 12 months of age.
Be sure to brush their teeth before bed, rather than allowing them to take milk to bed with them.
If you do feel that your older child is drinking (or asking for) a lot of milk, try talking to them about it. Often we underestimate how much our children can understand. If you explain why it’s best just to enjoy a glass of milk at, say, bedtime (rather than all throughout the day) you may just find your child will go along with it.
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