Reader Question: Help, My Child Hates Milk!

Yummy Mummy Kyla in Fredericton| New Brunswick asks:

Since weaning| my 20 month old will not drink cow's milk. I've tried everything| from heating it| letting her have it cold from the fridge and even room temperature.

We've tried different cups and even formula too. I can't get her to drink more than an ounce at a time most days. We've even tried adding strawberry flavouring and calling it "princess juice"! Should we try chocolate? I worry about the caffeine.

She eats lots of cheese and yogurt and she'll eat cold cereal sometimes with milk| but won't drink a glass. We also give her apple juice with calcium in the morning. Is this ok? My doc says she should be drinking between 16 and 20 oz of milk a day! Help!!

Dear Kyla|

Baaaah| shes fine. Many of the nutritional studies show that we get whey (get it?) too much calcium in North America and our reliance on cows milk to get it has its downside. Calcium comes from many sources&green veggies such as broccoli| almonds| tofu| cheese| yogurt| fortified juices. Assuming that she is getting 2-3 servings of these sources per day she is just fine without the good ol glass of milk.

In fact| I often have to convince parents to lay off the milk! Too much of it can fill the tiny tummy ensuring that they arent hungry enough to get the rest of the nutrients from other foods. Do not go the chocolate route! And| give up the Princess Juice; you are only encouraging a sweet tooth un-necessarily. My own mother did this when I shunned dairy and it turned out that we were forcing milk into a body that couldnt digest it. Hmm| your princess may just have the instinct that I did. Milk doesnt agree with her. (BTW| yogurt and cheese have less lactose and wont have the same effect)

The key difference here is that milk drinkers get Vitamin D from milk (fortified here in Canada) but not from these other sources. Id say your town gets about as much sunshine as any other part of this vast land in the winter and it isnt enough. Be sure to let her skin absorb some morning or late afternoon sun during the spring/summer/fall and supplement with Vitamin D drops from November to April.

Hey| say hi to our best man and his wife| Jimmy and Andrea who live in Fredericton for me| would ya?

Good luck!


Theresa Albert, a yummymummyclub alum is a foodie who happens to be a nutritionist and not the other way around. She loves to explore food and the culture of food and all of the human love/hate rituals that surround it. Her new book Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck (McClelland & Stewart) is a fun, practical guide to making tasty, changes for improved health using morsels of information and delicious, healthy recipes. Her television show "Just One Bite" aired on the Food Network for over two years in a daily time slot and still appears on BBC kids, it introduced her energetic style to millions. She is also the author of Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day.

Definitely not a finger wagger, as a registered nutritionist, Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP, has a passion for simple, honest solutions to today's lifestyle choices. In addition to her private practice at the Toronto Clinic, she has provided content and comment for every major Canadian broadcaster and is forever pushing the bologna out of lunchboxes and out of the news media. As an avid social media user, blogger/writer and as a parent, she understands the struggles of balancing priorities in real life. In print newspapers and magazines, you will often see her quoted when an issue needs common sense clarification. 

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