image001Milk is important the human body, especially for children, as it is rich in calcium, Vitamin D, protein and other vital nutrients. If there is a lack of dietary calcium and vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium, it can cause a lot of harm such as softening of teeth over time and one can be more prone to tooth decay and gum decay. The most common reason that some children stop drinking milk is when there is a transition from breast milk or formula to regular milk or from bottles to drinking cups. Some children prefer the taste of water, juice or other beverages over milk in the diet. Studies have shown that some toddlers have trouble digesting the lactose carbohydrate in milk (called lactose intolerance). Toddlers avoid milk because it causes some feelings of discomfort such as bloating, cramps and diarrhea. This article will tell you whether it is a cause of concern if your toddler is avoiding milk.

My Toddler Won’t Drink Milk—Should I Be Concerned?

If your toddler has a healthy appetite, takes plenty of fluids and solids and has no issues of vomiting or diarrhea then there is no great cause of concern.

Toddlers’ drinking and eating habits are much like adults and develop over time, hence over time they can develop a stronger taste for other drinks than milk.

Children should never be forced to drink milk if they are not willing to. Eating food should not be a battleground for children but rather an enjoyable experience. No single item of food is essential to any child's diet and can always be replaced by other food items. It is more essential that a child is enjoying eating and is given a well-balanced mixed diet during meals. Milk can be the best source of calcium, protein and vitamins, but can be easily replaced by other foods which contain calcium, protein and vitamins.

The best method of keeping your toddler interested in food is by making it appealing and exciting through experimenting with fresh ways of presenting it.

What to Do If My Toddler Won't Drink Milk



Make milk taste better

Dairy products which are rich in calcium include yogurt, cheese and ice cream. Milk, low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt can be used to make tasty milkshakes or fruit smoothies The traditional example is pouring milk over cereal, but children might enjoy putting food in milk or eating milk dishes such as macaroni and cheese, casseroles or soups.

Add milk to other foods

During mealtimes or snacks, make milk the drink of choice by offering pure milk or chocolate (or strawberry) milk. Toddlers love to have independence, but you can still direct their decisions.

Begin small

Begin with 6 ounces of milk for children between 1 to 3 years and 8 ounces of milk for older children. You can even begin with 1 or 2 ounces (or even a sip) at a time if your child is unwilling at first. Don’t give up. Keep offering your child little amounts of milk in hope that they will eventually start enjoying.

Offer other dairy products

During mealtimes or snacks, make milk the drink of choice by offering pure milk or chocolate (or strawberry) milk. Children enjoy flavored milk more than white milk, but you can control the amount of flavoring and reducing it over time so that they are not getting increased sugar in their diet.

Make the serving appealing

Milk can be served in a favorite cup, use a fun straw, or try a sports bottle with a pull-up spout. In this manner, the child will enjoy drinking milk as they will concentrate more on the container than the content.

Count the calcium from all foods

Dairy products contain the well-known amount of calcium. Other foods such as tofu, sardines, some leafy green vegetables and calcium-fortified foods such as fortified orange juice, cereals and other breakfast foods contain this valuable nutrient, too.

Stay positive about milk

Staying positive is a vital way of making milk a good option for your child. Be a role model by drinking milk yourself on a regular basis (also avoid any negative comments).

Toddler Won’t Drink Milk--How to Get Enough Calcium

1. The Amount of Calcium Toddlers Need

Calcium aids in building strong teeth and bones in toddlers, and it helps with muscle contraction, transmitting messages through the nerves and releasing hormones into their body. According to the National Institutes of Health, all children between the ages 1 and 3 need 700 milligrams of calcium per day. By offering a wide variety of calcium rich foods, you can ensure that your child is getting their daily intake even if they avoid drinking milk from a cup.

2. Alternatives to Milk and Dairy Products




Yogurt can be a good replacement as most children enjoy this dairy product and it can easily be substituted with a glass of milk. You can give your child a yogurt tube or 1 cup of yogurt for breakfast or at snack time. Fresh fruit yogurt or adding a fresh fruit topping for plain yogurt can be an excellent way of making your child enjoy yogurt. Add some granola as a nutritious addition when giving yogurt to your child. Alternatively, Greek yogurt is also a high-protein and calcium-rich option.


Another way of making your child achieve their daily calcium goal is by giving them 1.5 ounces of cheese. A tasty afternoon snack can be in the form of a slice of cheddar, mozzarella or Swiss cheese. String cheese is an easy on-the-go snack and an excellent source of calcium. Children usually enjoy pasta and lasagna, so the addition of ricotta cheese can make their dinners delicious and healthy at the same time.


If your toddler avoids drinking milk out of a cup, then offer them their favourite cereal. Choose cereals which are calcium-fortified, so they end up getting a dose of calcium from both the milk and cereal. Look out for words “calcium-fortified” or observe the nutrition information to check how much calcium the cereal contains per serving.

Orange juice

If your child is avoiding a glass of "moo juice," it can easily be replaced by a glass of their favourite calcium-fortified orange juice instead. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated that 1 cup of fortified orange juice has 500 milligrams of calcium. Orange juice is a rich source of vitamin C acting as an antioxidant and aiding in healing toddlers’ wounds.

Other sources

Be creative and include all sorts of foods to help your little one get enough calcium. Broccoli, beans, tofu and fortified soy products are good sources of calcium. Try convincing your child to eat leafy green vegetables such as collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy and kale as they are high in calcium.

Want to know more about what you can do when your toddler won't drink milk? Check out the video below: