July 02, 2015

Q: My son is 1 year old and he refuses to drink milk. He will drink formula easily out of a bottle and drinks juice in his sippy cup but when i put milk in his sippy cup or even his bottle he will not drink it at all. I've tried putting half milk and half formula with no success. Will this harm his health?

A: You’re doing the right thing by helping your son make the transition from the bottle to the sippy cup. At one year of age, it’s time for your son to give up the bottle, and the formula, no matter how much he loves them! Once your son figures out that drinking formula is no longer an option, he might be more likely to drink regular cow’s milk. But if he continues to refuse to drink it, it could be that he has an intolerance or a sensitivity to milk.  In that case, it’s better not to try to insist that he drinks it.

Cow’s milk is a good source of protein and calcium for babies, but there are other sources of these nutrients. Even if your son doesn’t like the taste of milk or if he doesn’t tolerate it well, he might love cottage cheese, yogurt, or another dairy food. Some brands of orange juice are fortified with calcium.

If you discover that your baby isn’t willing to drink or eat any type of dairy food, ask your pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric dietitian. This professional can help you design a diet for your son that will meet his nutritional needs.

Answered by Dr. Rallie McAllister


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