Whole Milk

Audrey - posted on 03/27/2011 ( 54 moms have responded )

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I have 2 very active kids, ages 18m and 3 years. My pediatricain has told me that they don't need to drink whole milk, and that he has started reccomending starting kids on reduced fat milk as early as age 1. What do you think about this? Has your pediatrician told you that too? My kids are not obese in the slightest so i question why they would need reduced fat milk.

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Jodi - posted on 03/27/2011

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My kids still drink whole milk. None of them are overweight, not even close. There's not an ounce of fat on them. If anything my youngest is underweight. I don't see the NEED to put a child on reduced fat milk if they are not eating a lot of fats from other foods. A certain amount of fat is actually healthy for you, and having too little can also have negative effects. It's all about balance. I can understand why the recommendations have probably changed in recent years, with problems with obesity, but if your child has a healthy diet of fresh foods, whole milk is not going to be a problem.

Minnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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Well, see, Kati, the way you put it makes it sound completely negative. You made it sound like health organizations are saying DON'T breastfeed after two. However, the WHO recommends breastfeeding until age two and then for as long as it is mutually desired. The AAP states that there are no negative effects of continuing the breastfeeding relationship into childhood over the age of three.



I will bet it is more likely due to the average western diet. Highly processed carbohydrates and fats are what lead to obesity and heart disease. Perhaps a child who subsists upon that should drink a lower fat milk. But a child who eats a variety of foods in as natural a state as possible should have no problem getting the necessary fats and cholesterol from milk- human, preferably, or another animal's milk- and yes, Julianne is right, goat is a better choice, but probably difficult to come by for the average consumer.



I will wait for the day the AAP and WHO come out with a statement- "Don't breastfeed past two because your child will receive dangerous saturated fats and cholesterol in high amounts from human milk-definitely something we don't want for those developing neurons!"

Minnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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More pediatricians are recommending this but biologically, it isn't sound. I'm assuming that this new recommendation has to do with the fact that many children are fed fatty junk all day long.



But consider this: humans are biologically designed to nurse for several years. And human milk has a higher fat percentage (and very high cholesterol) than cow milk. It would make sense to me that if a young child was not breastfeeding to be given whole cow's milk (I am partial to raw, because homoginization and pasteurization destroy vital properties of milk) along with a whole foods diet.

Iridescent - posted on 03/27/2011

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Part of the problem with diet that is trying to be corrected now in the US is simply since the 1930's, the "chubby baby" has been goal. They're cute. The Gerber Baby. Shirley Temple. Then it became chubby children that are cute. It went on to thin teens and young adults were what's cute, and it led to a ton of eating disorders. My own great grandmother was hospitalized for these. It's much more common than many people realize. Yet they continued to believe the chubby baby/child was goal, ideal, and fed them to make them that way. Meat, potatoes, and whole milk fresh from the cow. Dietary staples, 3 food groups. Throw in some homemade bread and we're in heaven! Except it's gotten worse.

Now it's 4 generations with this horrible diet, and many people that don't even know how to tell if they are hungry or thirsty because they were never taught to trust their body, so they eat because food is there.

Parents have always been taught that the child needs to clean their plate - NEEDS to. Why? They really don't. Most children eat what they need. They're also able to tell you when they're hungry, which should generally be 5-6 times per day, but our society insists on 3 large meals vs several small ones.

So how do you fix this? One way being tried is to change recommendations for milk, since it is a huge source of calories and fat.

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2011

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http://pediatrics.about.com/od/milk/i/05...

"Whole milk is a good option for toddlers over age 12 months who aren't breastfeeding and who aren't drinking a toddler formula. According to the AAP, in their Guide To Your Child's Nutrition, these 'young children need calories from fat for growth and brain development,' and 'this is especially important in the first 2 years of life.'"

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[deleted account]

I know exactly what you mean! : p My favorite is the elotes from the little bike driven carts....corn with mayo, cojita queso and chile. Yum!!! : )

Jane - posted on 03/28/2011

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@Stephanie - for about 5 years in a row, we would drive from Colorado to just below Ensenada for a spring break vacation with our kids. We would rent a house right on the beach and enjoy the local fare. My most favorite thing to eat was the homemade tamales that the locals would sell off the side of the road. It gave me the runs but I didn't care (LOL)...they were so freaking good. We would venture out to all the local places for breakfast...by the time the week was over, we were used to all of that and then by the time we got back to the States, believe it or not, our stomachs had to readjust!

[deleted account]

Jane- That's true and I know alot of Mexican people who live in the US now and when they go back to visit the water ends up making them ill bc they've adjusted to the American water. The water in Mexico isn't dirty like some people think, it's just different from ours. I got sick as crap from eating street food, too. I should have known better since of course the food is made and cooked with local water but I just couldn't help myself lol. The food is sooo good. But I paid dearly. I ended up with dysentery and had to take antibiotics.

Jane - posted on 03/28/2011

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Interesting fact about water, raw milk, etc., from Mexico. It's not that it's bad, it's that they have different bacteria's that American's are not used to. As a matter of fact, I've heard that Mexican's have a hard time when they come to the States with our water too. It's just cuz' it's different.

Audrey - posted on 03/28/2011

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Ya Stephanie, i dont think i would want raw milk (or water, lol) from mexico either.

[deleted account]

I drank raw milk in Mexico...it was delicious....until it made me deathly ill. Not saying raw milk is bad at all, I just had a bad experience with it but like I said, I was in Mexico and many things there don't agree with American stomachs.

Jane - posted on 03/27/2011

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My kids are 21 and 17 and back when mine were little, it was whole milk until 2 and then switched to 2%. Here's what I would think....if a child is not on the breast and are on formula, you would stop that at 1 year old as recommended and then go to cow's milk (or soy, etc). If the child is of a healthy weight, I would think that reduced fat would be ok starting at 1 year. I don't think kids over 1 need that much fat from cow's milk...they get it from the other things they eat.

Ez - posted on 03/27/2011

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bahahaha Emma. Too true. My father grew up as one of 6 children. They were poor because my grandfather was an alcoholic and used to take off for weeks at a time with all the family money. They had days where they literally ate nothing but bread and butter, so it was (and still is) utterly offensive to him to see us leave good food on our plates. It was a major bone of contention between my parents, and something I always knew I would never do to my kids.

Stifler's - posted on 03/27/2011

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That's so true. THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA... CLEAR YOUR PLATE! Then when they're 12 "you still have baby fat"... well DER you're making mashed potatoes every night for a child who no longer plays cops and robbers or jumps on the trampoline 24/7.

Stifler's - posted on 03/27/2011

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I think also, kids can be picky and refuse to eat during the time they stop being spoon fed. So they need the whole milk or some of them would fade away. I don't know many children age 2-5 who are big eaters.

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2011

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Erin, I think the difference here is that it isn't a recommendation. They simply state that you CAN switch them to reduced fat milk from age 2, and they do NOT recommend skim milk until over age 5. But it isn't recommended that you SHOULD switch them.

Iridescent - posted on 03/27/2011

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Erin, they probably don't need the same recommendations in Australia. In the US, it's to the point where only 6% of people are at their ideal weight or below. That is not healthy as a whole, which means standards as a whole really do need to change.



Edited to clarify "as a whole" being in the US - not for the entire world.

Ez - posted on 03/27/2011

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Every child I know drinks whole/full fat milk. I agree with Jodi so maybe it's an Aussie thing?! Our experts don't recommend switching to reduced fat at any specific age, and I honestly see no need.

Audrey - posted on 03/27/2011

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I drank whole milk til i was in middle school and it wasnt until i had kids that i ever had any trouble with my weight. our kids are both in the 97th% but are proportionate, they move constantly, and eat a wide variety of foods. i figure they can stay on whole milk for quite a while. as for raw milk, i drank it when i visited my grandma when i was a kid and my mom and her 5 brothers and sisters grew up on it and they are all just fine. i think as long as the raw milk is kept at the proper temperature and comes from a nice clean environment then it is fine to drink. havent tried goats milk but hear good things about it. its like $4 for a quart at the grocery store. i would like to try it (they say its good for eczema), but will have to get a goat or find someone nearby that has milk goats. i am starting to think (judging by all these replies) that our pediatrician is the only one pushing reduced fat milk. hmmm...

Kate CP - posted on 03/27/2011

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I'm still giving my 5 year old whole organic milk. She's no where NEAR over weight. I should probably get her onto 2% milk like the rest of us...eh. Eventually.

Minnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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Oh, I wasn't worrying about what you thought about my breastfeeding my toddler.

But I think I wasn't very clear, is all. I wasn't truly concerned about my daughter getting too much fat. My question was rhetorical.

Johnny - posted on 03/27/2011

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I'm not sure. My daughter does not drink milk, she does not like it at all. I tried goat's milk, sheep's milk, cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk. I was never able to get her to drink it despite trying tons of tricks. Now that she can communicate, she's just told me that it doesn't taste like "milk". I'm guessing she's referring to mine. I find other ways to get her calcium and vitamin D, which is really the only thing she'd need to have it for. She weighs pretty much exactly what she should for her height, so it hasn't impacted her growth or development at all.

Rosie - posted on 03/27/2011

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oh lord, i was just trying to figure out the answer to your question lisa, i wasn't trying to imply you shouldn't breastfeed for as long as you want.

Jenn - posted on 03/27/2011

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I was always told to give them homo milk until they are 2 - that's when we switched to 1% (that's what I always drink).

Stifler's - posted on 03/27/2011

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Logan won't drink cold milk out of the bottle either. I don't really mind, I'd prefer him to not have an obsession with drinking huge glasses of milk like his father.

ME - posted on 03/27/2011

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So....It was recommended to me that I should start giving Miles whole milk at age 1, he's quite thin; but he wouldn't drink it! I was still breastfeeding at the time, so we didn't worry about it too much. Once he weaned at 18 months, we put him whole soy milk (it was the only thing he'd drink), and slowly weaned him onto cows milk. He's still thin, and they still want him drinking whole milk at age three. The pediatrician keeps demanding that I get Mayah off of breast milk and on to cows milk (she just turned one), but I don't plan on having that fight again...I like the idea of goats milk, and may try to get both kids on it once Mayah self-weans...

[deleted account]

'Mutually desired'. Thank you! Those were the words I was trying to think of.... I HAD them in my brain til I started typing my previous response.... then poof! they were gone.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/27/2011

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Not me. I loooove dairy. Fortunately when not pregnant I manage not to overdo it. But seriously, I would eat cream all day if it wasn't a horrible idea. My BIL is horrified by it. It comes from a cow's boob! Why would you drink that??? Ahahaha.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/27/2011

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Oh man, I frigging hate goats' milk and its products. Except soap, but you don't have to eat that. I think maybe I should feed some to Freja just so she doesn't have this hatred for goat stuff like I do. But no way will I touch it. And I'm not a picky person. That's actually the only thing I can think of that I won't eat. Oh god. Just thinking of it is making me want to barf.

Stifler's - posted on 03/27/2011

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The formula can (I still use toddler formula sue me) says like 2 200mL drinks of milk a day anyway. My 14 month old has 3 but most often doesn't drink it all so I think he'll be right. We don't even have skim milk in this house hahaha. Most info I have read and on the back of the skim milk it says not suitable for children under 2.

[deleted account]

If i needed to substitute breast milk then I would use free range goats milk. I would not sacrifice my daughters health for the sake of my ethical beliefs.

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2011

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@ Julianne, just out of curiosity, you are vegan, are you not planning on raising your daughter vegan? So therefore, isn't goat's milk off the list for her anyway?

[deleted account]

They don't not recommend it though, Kati. I believe there is a line about 'as long as they (mom and baby) want to continue.' Obviously I'm improvising the wording cuz the real words are escaping me at the moment.

Rosie - posted on 03/27/2011

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lisa, i don't know the reasoning why, but i do know that no health organization recommends breastfeeding past the age of two either, the fat content might be part of that, who knows? all i know is that they get enough fat from foods, and reduced fat milk after the age of two, so why keep them on a higher fat milk?

[deleted account]

For sure. Its even hard to find at grocery stores. I don't see why, because its much better for you, the environment, and its cheaper to produce..

Krista - posted on 03/27/2011

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That's as it may be, but it's a wee bit tricky to get goat's milk in a restaurant when one is on a road trip. :)

[deleted account]

I don't think any child should drink cows milk. Goats milk is close to breast milk, so its easier for humans to digest. I would suggest that over any commonly used animal milk. I'm still breastfeeding, so she doesn't need a substitute. If i needed to substitute, it would be with goats milk.

Sara - posted on 03/27/2011

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We started giving my daugher whole milk at 1 on our ped's recommendation. At age two, we switched to skim because he said that we get enough fat in our diet without the whole milk to be sufficient.

[deleted account]

We did whole milk w/ our girls until 2.

We've mostly kept w/ 2% this time (and right now 1%), but my 3 year old (today, in fact) is still breastfed so I don't worry about the fat content at all.

Krista - posted on 03/27/2011

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Desiree, they mean homogenized milk. I think it's 3% or 4%.

And yeah, I've also always been under the impression that kids need whole milk, for the same reasons that Amy listed -- they need that fat for their brain development.

We have our toddler on whole milk, plus one cup of toddler formula (with a dropper of multivitamin drops mixed in). He's not fussy, but he goes through days when he doesn't have much of an appetite, so I try to make his drinks as nutrient-packed as possible.

Iridescent - posted on 03/27/2011

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Children need the higher fat content in their diet for myelination of their brain neurons. It's very important for development, and you can't just go back and add it later - if you missed it, it's too late.

We don't give cow's milk to our kids for the most part - one is on it, with Carnation Instant Breakfast, plus a high protein diet in addition to that, and her doctor also regularly has Calcium and Vitamin D labs drawn to make sure the protein isn't leeching too much calcium from her system. Our other kids drink water, 2 are on formula as the base for their diets (non-milk based), and otherwise their diet provides the nutrition they need, not their fluids.

Desiree - posted on 03/27/2011

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What the hell is whole milk...I am making the assumption that you mean Full Cream?

Minnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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Audrey- some people who are lactose-intolerant handle raw milk better than homoginized/pasteruized milk. The reason is that raw milk contains the enzyme lactase (aids in the digestion of milk), whereas processed milk does not.

It's not an across-the-board thing though, of course.

Audrey - posted on 03/27/2011

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I will ask next time we are at the pediatrician. I agree that they need that kind of fat in thier diets. We still give them whole milk, I think they need it. Raw milk would be great too, just unsure of how my daughter would do on it because she had to be on lactose free formula as an infant. she doesnt have any problems with whole milk from the store though. i think i will just have to try it and see how she does. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks little kids should still be drinking whole milk.

Minnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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Yes, of course my milk changes according to the needs of my child. However, the milk of a mother of a toddler actually has more fat than the milk of a mother who has a young infant. My milk has a higher fat percentage right now than any glass of whole cow's milk. As does any mother's who is nursing a toddler.



So- what I'm saying is that if the milk of any mother with a nursing toddler has much more fat in it than regular whole cow's milk what is the big deal with giving whole cow's milk to a toddler who is not nursing?



I am ok using raw milk for my family from local farms that store and handle it properly. One has to be comfortable with it, obviously.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/27/2011

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Lisa, your body adjusts according to the need of your child. We can adjust simply by giving a different percentage of milk. I was always told whole until 2 years.

Also, I thought it was extremely dangerous to give raw milk to young children. Correct me if I am wrong, but I was told never to give it by my last pediatrician. I have not addressed the matter with my new ped.

Bonnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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I have always been told whole milk from at least age 1 to age 2. There is nothing wrong with keeping them on whole milk longer than that. My boys are 2.5 and 4 and they are still on whole milk for the most part. If we are running low I will give my 4 year old 1%, but he mostly drinks whole.

I'm not understanding why your pediatrician would say low fat milk at the age of 1. That would mean they would be going from breast milk or formula to low fat?? Never heard of that.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/27/2011

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I was told full fat until at least 2. At that point they can have 2%, but until age 5 full fat is fine too. Honestly, I drink full fat (unhomogenized) sometimes and I don't have any health issues or weight problems. It takes a lot more than a glass of fatty milk to make a kid overweight. Kids weren't fat before we invented skim milk.

Minnie - posted on 03/27/2011

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But where does that put my own 2 1/2 year old, who, by nursing at my breast multiple times a day, receives more fat and cholesterol through my milk than a non-breastfeeding toddler would from a glass of whole cow's milk?

Rosie - posted on 03/27/2011

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mine says to start them on reduced fat at 2 years. even if you aren't obese it's not very wise to fill your kids up on as much or MORE saturated fat than is in a serving of french fries. switching them to skim or 1% is the healthiest option especially if they are already eating a wellbalanced diet. :).

[deleted account]

I have always been advised that children need full fat varieties until at least 5 yo. If I were you I would speak with my paediatrician and find out why he was suggesting that.

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