Should one year olds (12 mo. – 24 mo.) be given whole milk or 2% milk?
ABC Child Care, South Carolina’s Quality Improvement System, has five levels of recognition. Each level is defined by quality standards based on research regarding the types of practices that are indicative of high quality child care programs. Recently, ABC Child Care has adopted new standards related to nutrition and physical activity. Your question addresses one of the menu planning and food service requirements. Studies have shown that once children turn 2 years old, they no longer need the extra fat in their diet for healthy growth and development. Therefore it is permissible for whole milk or 2% to be served to children under that age. All providers in our program must institute a policy of “serving only skim or 1% milk to children over age 2”. For providers who are currently serving whole milk to children over 2 years old, we recommend a gradual transition over a 4 – 6 week period to milk with less fat to help children adjust to the texture change. This can begin with switching from whole milk to 2% then, after 2-3 weeks, transition from 2% to 1%.