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Cow's milk and other drinks

It is important to remember that children under the age of five need generous calories for growth and development. Young children (particularly under the age of 2) have small stomachs and therefore need to get enough energy from smaller amounts of foods. Therefore, at this stage fat intake is important and that is why full fat milk is recommended up to the age of 2 years and skimmed not before 5 years.

Other things to consider:

  • 300mls (½ pint) of milk per day is sufficient for a child of 1-3 years where the diet also includes other milk products.
  • If a child will not drink milk then encourage yoghurt, fromage frais and cheese and use milk in puddings and sauces.

Goat's and Sheep's milk
Goat's and sheep's milk are usually not pasteurized and should not be used under 12 months of age. Also, they also do not contain enough iron and other nutrients to meet your baby's needs. A goat's milk formula (Nanny) is available but is not recommended.

Non-milk drinks for thirsty babies

Tap Water
Water is the best alternative drink to milk. Boil tap water from the mains to make sure it's free of any bacteria and always allow the water to cool before giving it to your baby.

Bottled water
Always check the label if using bottled water to see if it is suitable for your baby's age and stage as it can have high mineral and sodium content. Always boil and allow to cool before giving to your baby.

Squashes, fizzy drinks, flavoured milk and drinks marketed as "baby juices"
These are generally unsuitable for babies as they contain too much sugar which can cause tooth decay, even if you dilute them. If such drinks are used, babies may have a poor appetite, poor weight gain and loose bowel movements.




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