Every so often I have a breast milk fuelled wobble.
I start thinking about pouring the little guy a couple of cups of milk a day. I worry that his calcium intake is not sufficient for his bone development. Should I be supplementing with vitamin drops, am I really doing the best thing letting him feed several times daily still.
At times like this, I need to find reassurance that I am still doing the right thing for my guy, that I am not depriving him of any vital nourishment, and that in fact he is getting the fullest of fattiest milk to develop his brain and the most bioavailable source of vitamins and minerals possible.
There isn’t an enormous amount of information out there about extended breastfeeding, even less of it is properly researched…so it took some time to find rthe reassurance I was seeking.
You can read some of my previous research here, I looked into exactly why breast milk is so good past one year…
But how much should a toddler be drinking?
There is no official minimum intake guideline for milk. Form what I managed to round up from various sources, it seems like between 1-3 years of age, 15-18 oz of cows milk is a good amount (400-500ml). But how does that translate to the invisible measures of breast milk.
According to KellyMom, as long as your toddler is nursing at least 3-4 times a day then there is no need add cups of cows milk.
Cows milk is just a convenience, a convenient source of calcium, vitamin D and fat.
Check out my detailed research here to see exactly why breast milk is more than adequate, but just quickly, it is super full fat, with high levels of vitamins and minerals designed specifically to be easily absorbed by the human child.
So if your child is nursing regularly still, then go with it, combined with the varied diet that he will be getting, then all should be good in the brain and bone!!
If you want the figures in detail, the NHS website recommends the following as a guideline daily intake, but it can be averaged out over a week:
Ages 1 to 3 years: 700 milligrams (mg) per day
Ages 4 to 8 years: 1,000 mg per day
Here are some serving recommendations:
- 1/4 cup raw tofu prepared with calcium sulphate: 217 mg (The calcium content of tofu varies, depending on how it’s processed. Check the label.)
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt: 207 mg
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses: 172 mg
- 1/2 cup fruit yoghurt: 122 to 192 mg
- 1/2 cup calcium-fortified orange juice: 133 to 250 mg
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese: 167 mg
- 1/2 cup milk: 150 mg
- 1/2 cup chocolate milk: 144 mg
- 1/2 ounce Swiss cheese: 112 mg
- 1/2 cup vanilla frozen yoghurt, soft-serve: 102 mg
- 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese: 102 mg
- 1 slice whole grain bread: 24 mg
- 1/2 ounce mozzarella cheese: 103 mg
- 1/4 cup collard greens: 66 mg
- 1/4 cup homemade pudding (from mix or scratch): 76 mg
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed butter): 64 mg
- 1/4 cup turnip greens: 50 mg
- 1/4 cup cooked spinach: 60 mg
- 1/2 cup calcium-fortified cereal (ready to eat): 51 mg
- 1/2 cup calcium-fortified soy beverage: 40 to 250 mg
- Extended breastfeeding (wildandwisdom)
- Can’t Live Without Calcium (illustratednutrition.com)
- Vitamin D and Iron Supplements for Baby (happybabyhungrymom.wordpress.com)
- What is the importance of Vitamin D? (writingcanvas.wordpress.com)