Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the best type of milk fat content for a normal 18-month old? Regular whole milk, 2%, 1% or fat-free (skim)?

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It is recommended for children under 2 to NOT have reduced fat milk. The risk being that the calories lost by giving them reduced fat milk may not allow for adequate growth [1]. Although "Overweight toddlers can switch to low-fat milk even earlier though, after their first birthday" [2].

From that evidence definately do not go to reduced fat until 12 months. After 12 months, only do it if they are overweight, otherwise you may affect their growth.

After 24 months, I would do it at your discretion. If your family drinks reduced fat milk, it is easier for them to drink it as well.

share|improve this answer

Our Doctor suggested using toddler milk up to 24 months and then regular milk.

If you skip toddler milk, regular milk should be used at least up to 24 months (see this reference), unless they are at risk of being overweight.

Also, we were warned to always add sugar when using cow's milk. (Unfortunately I cannot find an online reference for this.)

share|improve this answer

My baby is dairy-allergic, so we give her coconut milk that is certified dairy-free. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention the brand, but you can google it and it's pretty easy to find the brand; it comes in shelf-stable boxes as well as refrigerated cartons.

There are significant benefits to coconut milk because the fats are medium-chain fats (as opposed to long-chain fats) and contain fats that are present in human breastmilk. This study (PDF) details some of the health benefits and how the blanket recommendations to avoid coconut milk because it was dangerous for the heart were unfounded.

The silver lining to my daughter's dairy allergy is that we discovered something far healthier for her than whole milk that we never would have even thought of otherwise.

share|improve this answer
You're welcome to mention the brand and the specific product. You're only required to disclose if it's your own company, and even that is allowed except if the primary goal is self-marketing. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jun 20 '11 at 7:58
Thanks! In that case, we use So Delicious coconut milk. I don't work for them. Their website is . – Corvus Melori Jun 20 '11 at 8:17

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.