1 to 2 Years Old
As your baby grows into a toddler, their taste, appetite and eating skills grow too! At age 1, the DGA encourages the introduction to whole fat cow’s milk. Dairy (approximately 2 cups/day) will help meet calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein requirements. Some kids don’t like cow’s milk at first because it’s different from the breast milk or formula they’re used to. If that’s the case, try mixing whole milk with formula or breast milk and gradually adjust the mixture so that it eventually becomes 100% cow’s milk.
If your toddler isn’t an eager milk drinker just yet, you can add and pair dairy with dishes or other food groups. Here are some never fail dairy tips to try out:
- Grilled cheese, pizza, mac n’ cheese, and cheesy meatballs are some simple main dishes that can be paired with sliced vegetables.
- Replace recipes calling for water with equal parts whole milk or add yogurt or cheese for a nutritional boost (ex: soups, pancakes, muffins, hot chocolate).
- Some great snack combinations are, cheese slices with whole grain crackers, yogurt with sliced fruit, which can even be blended to make a smoothie, and yogurt ranch-style dip with bell pepper and tomato slices.
- 4 ounces of yogurt and 1/2 a banana as a bedtime snack. The protein and other nutrients will keep kids full all night.
Introducing dairy at a young age can establish lifetime eating habits that will help youngsters achieve their nutritional requirements for years to come. We hope that these tips will help you discover dairy’s delicious options for all stages of food discovery and enjoy toddler feeding times!