Baby Feeding Guide: What Dairy Can They Eat?
Dairy foods help provide nourishment needed for growth and development at the important milestone of infant and early toddler nutrition. At about 6 months, infants should be introduced to nutrient-rich, developmentally appropriate foods that complement human milk or iron-fortified infant formula feedings.
After their first birthday, as babies transition from human milk or iron-fortified infant formula, whole milk and other dairy foods provide critically important sources of essential nutrients to support healthy growth and development. Whole milk is important until at least age 2 because the fat in whole milk provides extra calories and nutrients for development. Foods like yogurt and cheese also contribute high-quality nutrition that fuels brain maturity and overall growth as babies transition from human milk or iron-fortified formula.
Dairy foods are packed with nutrients and are considered one of the top food sources of vitamins and minerals that support growth and development.
- Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus help build strong bones and teeth
- B vitamins, like B-12 and riboflavin, help turn food into fuel for brain development
You can read specific recommendations by downloading the resource to the right that was co-created by the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Dairy Council. The resource includes recommendations for complementary foods you can introduce at about 6 months to help ensure adequate nutrition, encourage acceptance of a wide variety of nutritious foods and set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
And, remember, every baby is unique, so don't worry if your baby eats a little more or less than this guide suggests. Keep in mind that the suggested serving sizes are only guidelines to help you get started.