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Risk of Toddler Drinking Too Much Milk

by
author image Rose Welton
Rose Welton is a journalism major and a freelance writer. Her education is focused on nutrition and early childhood studies, making her an expert when it comes to writing about health and children's growth and development. She has written numerous articles and blog posts on various topics for online publications and has also worked on an Internet news team.
Risk of Toddler Drinking Too Much Milk
Your toddler only needs two servings of dairy a day. Photo Credit girl with milk-moustache holding glass of milk image by Nikolay Okhitin from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Milk is very beneficial for your toddler's health. It is a source of calcium, which helps to build strong teeth and bones, and many varieties of milk are fortified with vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption. It is possible to get too much of a good thing, so it's important to understand how much milk your toddler actually needs and how it can affect his body if he drinks too much.

Calories and Fat

Beginning at 12 months of age, your toddler can begin drinking cow's milk. Until she is2 years old, she needs whole milk because the fat it contains contributes to her brain development and growth. Drinking too much milk can give her extra calories and fat that she doesn't need. Just 8 oz. of whole milk has 150 of the 1,000 to 1,400 calories that she needs at her age. Milk also is a source of saturated fat, and your toddler's doctor might recommend that she drink reduced fat milk if there is a history of heart disease and obesity in the family.

Iron Deficiency

If your toddler drinks too much milk, he might be at an increased risk of iron deficiency. Cow's milk is low in iron and can decrease iron absorption, and filling up on it can cause him to be too full for iron-rich foods at meals. Iron deficiency can lead to behavioral and learning problems. To help prevent iron deficiency, limit your toddler's milk intake to 16 to 24 oz. a day.

Constipation

According to Babycenter, consuming too many low-fiber foods and beverages like milk can have a binding effect and lead to constipation. Make sure your toddler's milk intake is balanced meals and snacks that contain sources of fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Recommendations

Your toddler needs only two servings of dairy each day. One serving is equal to a cup of milk, a cup of yogurt or 2 oz. of cheese. Be sure to balance your toddler's diet with protein, fruits, vegetables and grains for a healthy variety. If she is thirsty and has had enough milk during the day, offer 100 percent fruit juice or water as an alternative.

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