Good nutrition is crucial for babies. For toddlers over the age of 12 months who are not breastfed or do not take baby formula, whole milk is the best alternative. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, fat is vital for babies because it is responsible for body growth and brain development. As whole milk contains at least 3.5 percent fat, together with many other nutrients, it should be a must in baby diet during the first 2 years of age. Whole milk vs 2 percent milk , which one is better for kids?  Keep reading to get more useful and professional information.

Whole Milk vs 2 Percent Milk

Whole milk vs 2 percent milk, which one is better? When to give toddlers whole milk, and when to give toddlers 2 percent milk concern a lot of parents.

When to Give Toddlers Whole Milk

The best time to start feeding babies with whole milk is at 1 year of age. Pediatricians recommend 2 cups of milk a day at that age.

Whole milk with 3% or 2% fat are most recommended for toddlers at this age, because this is the optimal percentage of fat necessary for normal brain development. Doctors advise that healthy fats should make up half of baby’s diet.

If you are worried about your baby gaining access weight, do not cut on healthy nutrients like milk fat. Better reduce the food containing "empty" calories such as juices and snacks.

When to Give Toddlers 2 Percent Milk

Generally, when your child gets through his or her second birthday, he or she can start to change to 2 percent milk. But your kids have to take whole milk only before that. If your toddler can wean from breast milk, you can try to change to whole milk when the toddler is more than 12 months, which can be followed by 2 percent milk at the age of 2.

However, it is recommended by the University of Michigan Health System that kids below 5 years old should drink milk at a range of 2-3 glasses (16-24 oz.) each day regardless of whole milk or 2 percent milk.

Whole milk vs 2 percent milk, you need to give the right one at the right time according to your toddler's conditions.

More Things on Giving Low Fat Milk to Kids

Although pediatricians praise the qualities of whole milk during the first two years of life, they say that it is OK for the child to be given skimmed or low-fat after that. If you wonder whether there is a great difference between whole and lower-fat milk, here are some figures to be referred:

Milk (per 8 oz.)



Whole Milk



2 Percent Milk

(also known as reduced fat milk)



1 Percent Milk

(also known as low-fat milk)



Skim Milk

(also known as nonfat milk)



According to the chart above, if your 5-year-old child switches from whole milk to low-fat milk with 3 cups of milk a day as a routine, your kids will take 150 calories or less and you should take these figures into consideration during the switching process.

Another tip – the earlier you start feeding your child low-fat milk, the easierthey will get used to it. If older, they are more likely to sense the difference and may resistthe change.

To sum up, you should feed your child whole milk until 2years old. The extra fat in whole milk enhances body growth and brain development, as well as the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D. Therefore, it is recommended until the baby is two years of age to feedhim whole milk, whole milk yoghurtand whole milk cheese. If your child happens to be picky, you could add small amounts of syrup or ovaltine.Keep in mind that no cow’s milk is suggested before age 1 for the risk of allergy.

Watch the video below to learn when babies change from whole to low-fat milk:

How Much Milk Should My Toddler Drink?

When we think of baby food, the first thing that pops in our mind is “milk”. Truly, milk is an essential part of baby diet because of its rich proteins, fat, calcium and vitamin D. However, when the baby turns 1 year of age, milk becomes supplement and is no longer the only food.Most parents think that at this age the child still needs to drink a bottle of milk 4 or 5 times per day. Actually, a1-year-old needs no more than 3 cups a day. For age 2 and 3, it’s enough to have 1/1.5 cups per day. Calcium and vitamin D, which are vital for the building up the skeleton and muscle structure, can be procured also by consuming yoghurts, cheeses, cereals and fortified juices (no more than one small cup a day).

What Is the Harm of Too Much Milk?

Consuming too much milk can be as harmful as consuming insufficient amounts of it. Babies taking more than 4 cups of milk a day are likely to take less protein, fiber and iron, which are keysto body growth. The deficiency of these elements sets the risk of constipation, anemia, obesity or poor weight gain, depending on their general diet.

It’s best that the child gets one sippy cup of whole milk after 1 year of age. This is ideal for kids without milk protein allergy, risk of obesity or heart disease. However, if you notice that your child is predisposed of getting obese, do switch to low-fat milk as a reasonable option.