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Nutrition and Fitness

When Should Kids Switch to Skim Milk?

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I know that at some point kids should drink skim milk as part of a low-fat diet. But what's the right age to switch kids from whole milk to skim milk?
- Sheila

Breast milk is the food of choice for at least the first year or beyond. Cow's milk should be avoided until after kids reach their first birthday.

Babies and toddlers need fat in their diets for a variety of reasons, including neurological development. So it's usually recommended that kids 1 to 2 years old drink whole milk (although the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] says that kids at risk of becoming overweight can be switched to lower-fat milk before turning 2). Then, if their growth is steady, it's safe to switch to low-fat or skim milk.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your child's growth or nutritional needs.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: March 2010

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

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