What to drink

Introducing Cups

As drinks other than breastmilk are introduced to your toddler, they can be offered in an open cup. At first, you might have to help them with learning how to use an open cup. Sippy cups are not recommended because your toddler needs to suck to drink and doesn’t learn the right drinking skills.

Milk

Breast milk and/or cow milk is an important part of your child’s diet. You can continue breastfeeding, you can switch to cow’s milk, or you can combine the two.

• You can breastfeed your child until they are 2 years old, or older.
• The kind of milk you give can be breast milk, whole milk (3.25% M.F.), or a mix of both.
• If you are using evaporated or powered milk, choose a full fat type and that it is properly diluted or reconstituted.
• If you’re using cow milk, offer 2 cups (500 mL) but not more than 3 cups (750ml) per day.
• If your child is breastfed or not drinking 500 mL of milk give 400 IU Vitamin D each day.
• If your family drinks lower fat milks (e.g., 2%, 1%, skim milk), you can switch to them after two years old.
• Soy “milk” and other “milk” drinks do not have enough fat or protein to meet a toddler’s needs. These “milks” include rice, almond, coconut, and potato. A soy-based commercial infant formula is recommended for children who are no longer breast feeding or not being introduced to cow milk.

Juice

Your toddler doesn’t need juice to be healthy. Juice has a lot of sugar and you can avoid it entirely. Offer water between meals and snacks. If you do decide to give juice:

• Give juice with no added sugar
• Offer it in an open cup as part of a meal or snack
• Limit it to no more than 125 ml (½ cup) per day
• Use a small amount of juice and add a larger amount of water before handing it to your child