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When Can Babies Have Whole Milk?

All mothers worry about the nutrition of their children. This is right. The baby’s diet should be approached with the utmost responsibility. It is better to introduce all products only as soon as the baby’s digestive and enzymatic systems are ready in it.

Dairy products have a high nutritional value. But are they so useful for a small child? When to start introducing whole milk and should it be used in the diet at all? We will try to answer all these questions in detail in this article.

At what age should you not give whole milk to your baby?

The baby should be fed breast milk or formula for the first six months, according to the conclusions of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A combination of adapted nutrition and mother’s milk is acceptable with a small amount of it.

Fermented milk products are recommended to be gradually given to the baby from 8–9 months. It can be yogurt without additives and dyes or low-fat cottage cheese. Breastfeeding or formula is kept as the main food.

The use of whole milk is not recommended until 12 months of age, especially as a standalone drink. Discuss your child’s diet with the pediatrician before giving dairy products. It is not advisable to give milk to a child before 12 months due to its low digestibility and high risk of negative effects on the body.

What are the benefits of whole milk for a child?

Whole milk is milk that has not undergone any further processing. The composition of goat and cow milk is different. Goat is considered more dietary and healthy. The main benefits of whole milk:

An excellent source of protein The child’s body always needs a high-quality building material, which is protein. Whole milk is rich in protein and serves as a good source of it.

A source of calcium and vitamin D – Everyone knows that dairy products are rich in calcium. Whole milk does not contain as much of it as solid dairy products, but this does not deprive it of nutritional value. Milk is on the list of foods that enrich the diet with this important element. 100 grams contains 125 mg of calcium. Milk also contains vitamin D, which contributes to the full absorption of the trace element.

Vitamins of group B Milk contains vitamins B1, B2, and B12. They help in the establishment of metabolism and improve blood circulation and the condition of blood vessels. The nervous system, liver, and stomach do not work smoothly without these vitamins. B vitamins maintain the necessary level of energy in the child.

Magnesium – This element is actively involved in the maturation of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. It is a good helper in the fight against stress and anxiety and normalizes sleep.

The positive role of casein Casein is a complex protein. It has a positive impact. It can lower blood pressure, saturates with valuable amino acids, and promotes the growth and recruitment of muscle mass in the child. There is too much of it in cow’s milk. It is better to choose goat milk.

What can be harmful to whole milk for a baby?

You should never force a child to eat milk if he has an individual reaction to this product. There will be no benefit from such violence for sure. What harm can whole milk potentially cause?

Risk of disease Uncooked milk spoils quickly. There is a risk of developing harmful bacteria. You can get a streptococcal infection, brucellosis, typhoid fever, and so on.

Digestive disorder Whole milk has coarse flakes of casein protein, especially cow’s milk. They tend to envelop the digestive organs and stay on their surface for a long time. This often provokes stagnation of feces and problems with the intestines. Various disorders in the functioning of the digestive tract can occur with the abuse of milk or its high-fat content.

Lactose intolerance You can face lactose intolerance if you thoughtlessly introduce milk into the diet of a child. It can present with harmless symptoms such as bloating or more serious symptoms such as diarrhea, or blood and mucus in the stool.

Excess weight The use of full-fat whole milk with a good diet can cause overweight in a child. He will be bigger than his peers. We will have to resolve the issue by introducing a diet that is always an extremely stressful situation for everyone.

Anemia Animal milk contains iron. The use of whole milk cannot be a complete alternative to breast milk. It can only be used as a component of the diet. Otherwise, the risk of developing iron deficiency anemia is high.

Allergy Products of protein origin often cause allergies. Milk contains a protein that can trigger an immune response. It is most often expressed in diathesis, allergic colitis, and diarrhea in children.

When is whole milk allowed for a baby?

The AAP recommends that whole milk should not be introduced into a child’s diet until after the first year of life. Why from this age? This is because up to 1-year-old children still have a fairly unbalanced diet. They refuse many products and this prevents them from limiting the use of breast milk or formula.

The baby may refuse to breastfeed or adapt to nutrition with the introduction of whole milk. This is fraught with irreversible consequences in the form of vitamin and microelement deficiencies. The nutrition of babies becomes more varied after a year. This helps compensate for the mother’s milk or an adapted formula.

Symptoms for which whole milk is contraindicated?

Never focus on someone in your environment. All children are different and what works for one child may not work for another. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with situations when it is better not to give whole milk to children:

The child becomes restless

It is worth suspending the use of whole milk if the baby changes in behavior after drinking it. Children begin to get a lot nervous, cry, and constantly emit gases. They complain about their stomach and cannot calm down for a long time.

Manifestations on the skin

Any skin reactions are the result of internal disorders. The baby has an allergy if red small dots appear on the face, especially around the mouth and nose. It is necessary to immediately adjust the diet and remove all possible allergens, including milk.

Problems with a chair

Constipation is a common consequence of drinking milk or dairy products. They envelop the walls of the intestines, preventing the natural microflora from working properly. Feces get stuck inside the intestines and cause severe constipation and pain. The backlash is diarrhea. This is a clear sign of lactose intolerance.

Frequent awakenings at night

A typical sign of poor absorption of whole milk is restless and interrupted sleep. The child will fall asleep in the usual rhythm but after 40 minutes or an hour wake up and cry. Sometimes he just screams. This is due to severe pain, which is due to the poor digestibility of the whole product. The baby may get sick with the pancreas or gallbladder.

If the baby resists

Whole milk is not a mandatory product in the diet. It is not consumed at all in some Asian countries, like all dairy products. Do not convince the child to drink milk. The baby may not like its smell, taste, color, and so on.

Blood in the stool and individual contraindications

Such a reaction is a strong contraindication to the use of milk. Children with similar symptoms shouldn’t consume milk in any form, including fermented milk products. There may also be chronic diseases, obesity, allergic reactions, and so on. Always consult a doctor who knows the child’s medical history and characteristics.

What fat content of whole milk is recommended for a child?

It is better to give preference to more fatty versions of whole milk for babies from 1 to 2 years old. It must be at least 4.5%. This choice is justified by the importance of fats for the proper formation of the brain. Infants and young children have high-fat requirements. It is necessary to take into account the number of other dairy products that the child consumes. Keep a dietary balance.

Two “golden” years of fat milk feeding are important for the development of the child, and the formation of his brain activity and nervous system. You can switch to less-fat milk after 2 years. Growth stabilizes during this period and nutritional requirements decrease. You can choose whole milk with a fat content of no more than 2-3%.

How much and how often can a baby drink milk?

Any food product should not be imposed. Try adding some milk to the baby’s cereal or formula first. Offer to drink it if there is no negative reaction. Do not make this drink a full replacement for the main meal. Dose its use following age and a balanced diet.

The recommended dose for a child from 1 to 3 years is not more than 8-10 ounces. Increase them gradually. Do not give more than 8 ounces per day at first. Whole milk does not need to be consumed every day. You can alternate it with other dairy products. So the food will be more varied and healthy.

Is there an alternative to whole milk?

Whole milk is just one of the foods that can help you expand your diet. It cannot be called indispensable. If your baby likes to drink milk as a separate drink, then you can offer him a healthier and more dietary alternative. It is introduced in the case of the impossibility of drinking milk and its derivative products.

The most optimal alternative is plant-based milk: soy, almond, coconut, cashew, and rice milk. The taste qualities of these types of milk are different as well as their nutritional value. Study the composition in more detail and consider the likelihood of an allergy in a child.

Should children drink whole milk?

Most pediatric and gastroenterology professionals believe that children should start drinking whole milk as late as possible. You can practice this drink if the baby is deficient in nutrition and calcium. Be sure to focus on your child and not on other children.

If the baby drinks milk with pleasure and his main diet is poor, then let him drink. Nothing bad will happen in the absence of negative symptoms. Milk should not be consumed before 1 year of age.

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