Your child has just turned one. They have been breast or bottle fed (or both), and you have now been told that they can start having regular cow’s milk as a drink. Do you just replace their bottles/breastfeeds with a cup of milk? How much is too much dairy for a one year old?
Many people associate dairy foods as being a rich source of calcium, but many people don’t know that dairy foods actually contain 10 essential nutrients with calcium being it’s most famous. Some of these nutrient include protein; which is essential for growth, zinc; assists with keeping the immune system in shape and vitamin A; which is important for eye health.
When your child turns one, their requirement for calcium is 500mg/day. This equates to 2 adult serves of 250mg.
Where can my child get calcium from?
Each of these servings below provides 250mg calcium
Many 1 year old children are consuming too much dairy. While dairy is a very nutritious food, consuming too much of it can lead to health problems for your child. One of the most important health problems being iron deficiency.
This occurs for two reasons:
- Dairy foods do not contain iron and in fact, some of the nutrients contained in dairy foods can make it difficult for the body to absorb iron.
- Young children who consume excess dairy often fill up on this food group, leaving little precious tummy space or appetite for other foods from other food groups (including meat/meat alternatives which are the best sources of iron)
So, when your child turns one year of age, try to ensure that their intake of dairy foods does not exceed 2 serves/day.