Is Milk Good for Toddlers? What about Vegan?

Published in health, parenting, on Apr 11, 2021

We're watching The Game Changers for the second time about veganism and elite athletes. It got us wondering, is the diet we're feeding our daughter and all the milk we're giving her good for her? I did some research. Collating the results here..

Benefits of milk for young kids

One of the top google results gives us a highlighted result (thanks AMP) that under two years old:

Whole milk is recommended for kids 2 and under because of the calcium, fat, and protein found in it.

Downside of drinking cow milk

  • If kids drink milk they fill up and they don't want to eat food. (Because they fill up.)
  • 24 oz of milk a day should be the max cow milk consumption.
  • Milk contains calcium and casein, which blocks iron absorption. This can cause iron deficienies in kids.

Why do kids need milk?

The medical establishment definitely recommends cow milk for kids. My daughter loves milk.. and apple juice. The truth is though she likes tons of foods that are healthy for her. Below are some important nutrients kids get from cow milk and other sources for getting them.




To ensure adequate calcium in your toddler’s diet, try offering salmon, dark leafy greens, or fortified cereals.

For extra fat, nuts and nut butters, plant-based oils, and avocados make yummy choices. And fish, meats, eggs, and tofu all offer plenty of protein for dairy-free kids.

Finally, experts don’t advise turning to alternative milks to replace cow’s milk. Their lack of protein and nutrients can’t compare with dairy milk for the nutrition profile your growing child needs.

Fortified soy milk may be an exception, but always clear this with your pediatrician before diving in.

Building a diet for a toddler

kids at this age require a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • beans
  • legumes

Lean proteins, such as fish, turkey, chicken, eggs, and tofu can comprise the protein portion of your kiddo’s plate. Plant oils, seeds, nuts, and nut butters (and, to a lesser extent, cheese and yogurt) are all healthy fat sources.