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Is it unhealthy for my 22-month-old to drink nothing but milk?
Q: I have a 22-month-old son and he absolutely loves milk, but we have a tough time trying to get him to drink juice or water. Can too much milk hurt him?
A: Connie, it’s great that your son loves milk. Milk provides young children important nutrients including calcium and protein. But too much milk can be unhealthy.

Toddlers should drink no more than 16-24 oz. of milk a day. Drinking more milk than that can interfere with children’s appetite for other healthy foods and with their absorption of iron from foods, leading to anemia. Juice can be healthy as long as it is 100% fruit juice rather than sugary fruit drinks. But also limit juice to 4-6 oz. a day so it doesn’t interfere with his appetite. Water is healthy, too.

If you find that your son is drinking too much milk, here are some tips:

  • Make sure your son uses a cup and not a bottle for his milk. Children tend to drink less milk from the cup than the bottle. Get him some nice, colourful sippy cups to use, and praise him for being a big boy.

  • Give your son his meals and snacks first, and his milk afterwards. This will help him fill up on the other healthy foods and then drink the milk to satisfy his thirst. You can also offer him juice or water after his meals and snacks
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