Q&A: Can I give my toddler sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk?
Is it advisable to replace milk with a sweetened, condensed milk? My son is 2 years old.
I am so glad you asked this question, as milk is considered a very important component of a young child’s diet. Before explaining the current milk recommendations, however, I want to directly answer your question by saying that sweetened, condensed milk is not a good substitute for regular cow’s milk, and here’s why. From what I understand, sweetened condensed milk (sometimes referred to simply as “condensed milk”) is admittedly made from cow’s milk, but it is not meant to be given to children to drink. With the water removed and sugar added to make it both thicker and sweeter, it is generally used for baking but definitely inappropriate for everyday use as a milk substitute.
That said, new dietary guidelines and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasize the importance of milk as a nutritious component of children’s diets. Children without any known milk allergies can and should be switched to drinking regular cow’s milk (the kind that’s readily available from the grocery store) at the age of 12 months. Under the age of 2, whole milk is recommended for toddlers unless they are overweight or have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease (in which case the doctor may recommend giving reduced fat milk even before the age of two). After the age of 2, however, fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1 percent) milk is recommended.