When Should Kids Switch to Nonfat Milk?

I know that at some point kids should drink nonfat milk as part of a low-fat diet. But what's the right age to switch kids from whole milk to nonfat 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 healthy brain development. So it's usually recommended that kids 1 to 2 years old drink whole milk. Then, if their growth is steady, it's safe to switch to low-fat or nonfat (skim) milk.

Note: Kids at risk of becoming overweight can be switched to lower-fat milk before turning 2.

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

Related Resources

  • Milk Matters: Calcium Education from the National Institutes of Health
    Milk Matters is a public health education campaign launched by the National Institutes of Health to promote calcium consumption among tweens and teens, especially during the ages of 11 to 15, a time of critical bone growth.
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Offering nutrition information, resources, and access to registered dietitians.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
    The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
  • ChooseMyPlate.gov
    ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information on how to follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes resources and tools to help families lead healthier lives.