When should a child drink whole milk?

At what age can my child start drinking whole milk?

The ideal source of nutrition for healthy infants is human milk. Iron-fortified commercial infant formulas, created to closely resemble mother’s milk, are an acceptable alternative for mothers who cannot or choose not to breastfeed. Cow’s milk, while well-suited to calves, is not suited to infants; it has too much protein and phosphorus and too little iron for infants. Some young infants can develop inflammation of the intestine and intestinal blood loss when fed cow’s milk.

At the age of one year, children should be eating a variety of foods from all the four major food groups, and whole cow’s milk can be introduced at that time. Very young children need the higher fat content of whole milk; they should continue to drink whole milk until the age of two years, at which time, lower fat milks are appropriate as part of a well-balanced diet.

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