Health

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AAP Changes Milk Recommendations for Children Under 2

July 16, 2008 06:00 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
The American Academy of Pediatrics says certain children under 2 should drink 2 percent milk instead of whole milk.

30-Second Summary

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When the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggested that some children as young as 8 use cholesterol-reducing drugs, the resulting controversy overshadowed an important dietary recommendation from the group.
 
The AAP now says that not all toddlers need to drink whole milk until they are 2 years old.

Children at risk of being overweight, or with a family history of heart disease, obesity or high cholesterol, can switch to low-fat milk between 12 months and 2 years old.

A certain amount of fat is necessary to aid in brain development for young children, explains WebMD. However, recent studies indicate that children who receive reduced-fat milk develop normally.

Dr. Tanya R. Altmann, spokeswoman for the AAP, said that whole milk isn’t necessary for everyone because “children now are getting too much fat from other sources.”

When it comes to eating, “the toddler years can be a source of frustration and concern for many parents,” said Pamela Stuppy, a licensed dietitian. Many parents wonder if their children are eating enough of the right foods.

Stuppy noted that having toddlers follow the example of older individuals by eating meals with their families could encourage good mealtime habits. Limiting distractions such as television can also be helpful.

Toddlers also have small tummies, which makes healthy snacks during the day especially important to ensure that kids have a balanced diet.

Headline Links: New milk recommendations

Opinion & Analysis: Which milk when?

Related Links: Cholesterol screening, obesity concerns and picky eaters

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