Toddlers of this age are still growing and developing rapidly, so they require more energy and nutrients than adults in relation to their size. From a child’s first birthday, milk should begin to play a less important role when it comes to meeting dietary requirements. However, toddlers aged one to three years still need at least two to three daily servings of milk and dairy foods such as cheese or yoghurt.
The Department of Health recommends the following regarding the introduction of cows’ milk:
Compared to cows’ milk, toddler/growing up milks contain:
At 12 months of age, children should not be drinking more than one pint (around 550ml) of milk a day
At 12 months of age, children should not be drinking more than one pint (around 550ml) of milk a day (cows’, infant formula or toddler/growing up milk) as excessive amounts can:
To reduce the volume of milk that infants consume, suggest that parents:
The Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years are given vitamins supplements containing A, C and D every day.
As before, milks should still be made up as required and not in batches because milk powder is not sterile and can contain harmful bacteria (see How to prepare a bottle feed).
Remember to always advise parents to check the pack for details of how the milk should be prepared. Some products require water that has been boiled and cooled to 70ºC, while others are prepared with cooler water.
Many toddler/ growing up milks are available in ready-to-use bottles or cartons which do not require any preparation before use.
There is different advice regarding how long products can be stored or used once opened or prepared, depending on the brand.
After a toddler’s first birthday, all liquids should be from a beaker or cup and toddlers should be fully weaned off bottles, so sterilising will no longer be necessary. If a parent does however use a bottle beyond 12 months of age, it is best to continue sterilising.
Toddler or growing up milks are available. As with follow-on milks, these contain higher levels of some nutrients than infant formula milk and some parents may choose to use these to top up or act as a ‘safety net’ for children’s nutritional needs. However, the use of toddler milks is optional.