Guides of feeding your 1 – to 2-year-old

Feeding your 1 to 2 year old may always a difficult taks. At a year old, formula-fed babies can switch to whole cow’s milk. It is important to use “whole” milk, because children under two years old need fat for brain development. One-year-old breastfed babies will benefit from continuing to nurse, for as long as both mother and baby are happy with the arrangement. Your baby should be joining you at the table for meals, and be learning about mealtime as family time.

And there are two main feeding basis moms should know:

Importance of milk

Milk is an important part of a toddler’s diet because it provides calcium and vitamin D, which help build strong bones. Kids under age 2 should drink whole milk for the dietary fats needed for normal growth and brain development.

When your child is 2, you can probably make the switch to low-fat or nonfat milk, but talk with your doctor before doing so.

Between 12 and 18 months of age is a good time for transition to a cup. Instead of cutting out bottles all at once, you can gradually eliminate them from the feeding schedule, starting with mealtime. Offer whole milk in a cup after the child has begun the meal. If you are breastfeeding, only offer milk in a cup and avoid the bottle habit altogether.

Some kids don’t like cows milk at first because it’s different from the breast milk or formula they’re used to. If that’s the case, it’s OK to mix whole milk with formula or breast milk and gradually adjust the mixture so that it eventually becomes 100% cow’s milk.

Iron Intake

It’s important to watch out for iron deficiency after kids reaches 1 year of age. It can affect their physical, mental, and behavioral development, and also can lead to anemia.

To help prevent iron deficiency:

Limit your child’s milk intake to 16-24 full ounces (480-720 milliliters) a day.

Increase iron-rich foods in your child’s diet, like meat, poultry, fish, beans, and iron-fortified foods.

Continue serving iron-fortified cereal until your child is 18 to 24 months old.

Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned that your child drinks a lot of cow’s milk or isn’t getting enough iron, or if you’re thinking of giving your child a vitamin supplement.

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