Giving Your Child Cows’ Milk After One Year Old

Do babies need milk after turning one? How much should they have?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and continue to be breastfed alongside complementary foods for up to two years of age and beyond.

Once your child is one year, the Ministry of Health says you may gradually introduce whole (dark blue lid) cows’ milk into their diet if you would like to. If you are still breastfeeding, you can just continue giving breast milk; they don’t need cows’ milk as well. Before 12 months of age, breast milk or infant formula should be their main drink.

When giving milk to your toddler, it should be limited to no more than 500ml (or two cups) per day as having too much can interfere with their body’s ability to absorb iron. See Healthy Diet and Nutrients for Toddlers for more information on why iron is so important for your growing pēpi.