The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended whole milk for children starting at the age of 12 months and continuing until 24 months. This all changed after research was evaluated and discussed among the AAP.
In July 2008, the AAP changed its stance to recommend that some children should start with 2% milk at the age of 12 months. However, of course those children still receiving breast milk should continue as long as mommy is up for it! Children who are candidates for this new recommendation are those who have a family history of:
Dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, low HDL-cholesterol, or elevated triglycerides)
Don’t children need fat for brain development?
Absolutely! However, research found no difference in the growth and development of children who drank low fat milk versus children who drank whole milk.
How can I supplement fat so that I know my child is getting enough?
Cook with olive oil, serve avocado, and serve hummus dip with whole grain crackers. Look for foods high in unsaturated fats.
Why do experts keep changing their minds?
Research, research, research! Every topic imaginable has not been studied so some recommendations are based on speculation or inferences from other research. As research develops and we get more detailed in our techniques, we learn more and more. Recommendations and position statements change based on evolving research. If recommendations never changed, I would wonder why we fund research.
So what should I do?
First, take a look at your child’s family history. Does your child have obesity, dyslipidemia, or cardiovascular disease in his/her family history? If so, discuss options with your pediatrician.
I exercise so that when I’m older, I’ll have the strength to take care of myself!