How much dairy does my baby need?

Will G
April 12, 2024
5 min read

Dairy is a staple of many children’s diets in the UK these days. From milk and cheese to yoghurt and butter, dairy is a fantastic low-processed source of calcium and healthy fats.

Calcium is an essential mineral that helps to keep bones strong and hard and it also keeps teeth nice and healthy.

On average, 1-3 year olds need about 350mg of calcium per day increasing to 450mg when they turn 4-6. For context, a 15g portion of cheese contains about 120mg of calcium (⅓ of their daily requirement).

Milk is a source of dairy and calcium for your baby

Milk is probably the most common source of dairy for little ones as they grow up.

After 12 months old, toddlers mustn’t fill up on milk too much during the day as this will reduce their appetite for meals. If your little one isn’t eating for some reason, it’s always a good idea to play around with their milk feeding times and quantity as this can make a big difference to their appetite overnight!On average, a 1-2-year-old is likely to need no more than 400ml of milk a day as a drink (about 2/3 pint) and a 3-4-year-old is likely to need no more than 300ml of milk a day as a drink (about 1/2 pint).

If your little one starts to refuse milk or just starts to drink less don’t panic as they can still get the calcium and fat-soluble vitamins that milk provides from other foods! We’ve listed some of these beforeThis recommendation for calcium (above) can be easily met if you can offer your toddler 3 calcium-rich foods per day. If you continue to breastfeed this will contain some calcium (breastfeeding mums remember to take your supplements for vitamin D and also take calcium as the requirements are much higher and it can be difficult to get this through your diet alone)

Dairy serving sizes for your baby:

  1. The approximate serving size of milk for a toddler is 100-120mls and this will therefore contain 120-144mg calcium.
  2. Approximate serving size of yoghurt for a toddler is 125g (or 2 x 60g pots)
  3. Small pot yoghurt = 60mg
  4. Approximate serving size of cheese for a toddler is 15-20g
  5. A small portion of cheese (15g) provides 120mg calcium. BabyBel cheese 140mg. Cheesestring 156mg.  

Great non-dairy sources of calcium that you can feed your little one:

  1. Fortified bread -depends on the brand but ranges from 134-150mg per slice
  2. Ready Oats (e.g. Ready Brek) 20g plus 100 milk = 388mg
  3. 20g of other calcium-fortified cereal plus 100ml milk = 215mg
  4. Tinned fish (with bones) 1/2 tin = 258mg
  5. Calcium set tofu (versions that contain calcium salts)
  6. Sesame seeds - tahini
  7. Red kidney beans

At V&Me, all our baby menus have been designed specifically to provide the optimal balance and variety of essential nutrients like calcium, carbohydrates, and protein.

The first 1000 days of your baby’s life is a key stage of their development when most of their brain and body’s foundations are being laid, so it’s extra important to ensure that you are fuelling them with the right things!

Ensuring your little one’s growth and development are being fuelled properly is a tricky job!

Unless you are a full-time baby chef or a paediatric doctor, it can be hard to know what is best for your baby on a daily basis.

That’s why V&Me was created to empower parents with the optimal nutrition for their little ones. V&Me’s fresh baby meals are planned by leading experts to ensure that they contain all the goodness your baby needs to support their growth and development during the key, early stages of their life.

If you’re a London parent and you want to join the growing number of mums and dads getting fresh baby food deliveries to their doorstep, click the link below and get your first delivery now!We are now delivering to almost all central London postcodes, including popular areas like Nunhead, Peckham, Camberwell, Westminster, Tooting, Oval, Wapping, Greenwich, Nappy Valley, Hammersmith, Fulham, Parsons Green, Kings Road, Paddington and Kings Cross.

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About the author
Will G
April 12, 2024
Will is our very own in-house baby food expert! He is the go-to for anything baby, weaning, or product related. Working directly with experts, professors and paediatric dietitians, our content aims to keep you up to date on the latest tips, advice and opinions, giving you and your little one the best start for developing healthy eating habits.
Phoenix Baker
Product Manager
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