children's health

Should Your Toddler Be Drinking Low-fat milk?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised a previous recommendation that had all toddler drinking whole milk once weaned from breast-milk or formula.

little girl drinking milk

They are now saying that some babies as young as 12 months of age should be given reduced-fat (2 percent) milk instead of whole milk.

Specifically, the new recommendation states that the use of reduced-fat milk “would be appropriate” for children between 12 months and 2 years of age who are at higher-than-normal risk of becoming overweight, or have a family history of high cholesterol, obesity, or heart disease.

“Previously, the recommendation had been for children between 12 months and 2 years of age to be on whole milk,” Dr. Stephen R. Daniels noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health. Daniels, of The Children’s Hospital in Denver, is a member of the AAP’s Committee on Nutrition that wrote the recommendation.

“The theoretical rationale for that was that children who were growing and developing may need an increased fat, and even potentially cholesterol intake, to support some development, especially neurological development,” he explained.

He continued to say that The whole milk recommendation was developed “at a time when there wasn’t the kind of concern that we have now about childhood obesity.”

It is also believed that the first cholesterol check should take place after 2 years of age but no later than age 10. If their cholesterol levels are normal, repeat testing should be performed in 3 to 5 years.


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!


  • I think this is ridicules! the tots NEED the fat in the milk! instead of putting their nutritional needs in jeprody, parents need to learn to say NO and stop feeding their kids crap like happy meals and sugar packed juice.

  • If anybody has read up on this(hint, hint Aleena), you would see that the cholesterol intake of whole milk vs. low fat is pretty dramatic. Very high cholesterol runs in my family (myself included). I’m 5’5 and weigh 125 lbs, so claiming that people that have high cholesterol / high blood pressure, etc. are eating sugar packed happy meals is absurd. The tots can get the nutrition they need in other things besides WHOLE milk, look up the cholesterol on both products! My 13 month old is in the “norm” range chart wise, and our pediatrician advised us to switch to 2% because of the familial history of high cholesterol. Makes sense to me. Why start clogging up her heart before she’s 2? Read up my friend, times a changing. Way too many diabetic, obese kids out there.

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