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Depending on your child's age and weight, their calorie and nutrient needs are different. These recommended amounts are expressed as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). The RDA is the average daily amount that is considered sufficient to meet the requirement of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. Values are based on a reference weight (7-12 months: 20 lbs, 1-3 years: 27 lbs). Your child’s individual needs may differ and can be discussed with a naturopathic doctor, dietitian or medical doctor.
There is no specific requirement for the number of grams of fat per day in a child’s diet. Total fat should make up a certain percentage of daily calories. Estimating the number of calories needed in your child’s daily diet requires an equation that takes your child’s weight into account. If you’d like to calculate your child’s needs, see the Health Canada website here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn- an/nutrition/reference/table/index-eng.php, or talk to your child’s healthcare provider for help. As an example, a 12 month old who is 20 lbs requires approximately 730 calories (kcal) per day, so they should be taking in at minimum 30%, or 219 calories (kcal) from fat.
|Age||Calories (kcal)||Protein (g)||Total Fat (g)||Calcium (mg)||Vitamin D (IU)|
|7-12 Months||See above||11g||260||400|
|1-3 Years||See above||13g||30-40%||700||600|
As seen below, the issue with most animal milk alternatives is the caloric, protein and fat content, but they are comparable to cow’s milk with regards to vitamin D and calcium. Goat milk is a commonly recommended alternative for those who have sensitivities to cow’s milk; the proteins in goat’s milk can be more easily digested and better tolerated. If goat’s milk will be your child’s main milk source, make sure that you are buying a fortified version with comparable calcium and vitamin D content. If cow’s milk isn’t going to be on your child’s menu, due to allergy, vegan lifestyle or for other reasons, it is advisable to seek the services of a dietitian or naturopathic doctor who can help you in ensuring that your child’s diet is nutritionally sound with regards to calories, protein and fat.
|Milk||Calories (kcal)||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||
(% daily value)
(% daily value)
*amounts are based on 1 cup of milk or alternative, and each alternative is the fortified, original flavor version
The nutrients like calcium and vitamin D found in dairy are also contained in other foods. Listed below are a few dairy free options to expand your child's diet while still getting those great nutrients.
Consolini DM. Nutrition in Infants. Merck Manual Professional Edition. Nov 2013.http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/care-of- newborns-and- infants/nutrition-in-infants
Dietitians of Canada. Food Sources of Calcium. 2016.
Dietitians of Canada. Food Sources of Vitamin D. 2016.
http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition- A-Z/Vitamins/Food- Sources-of- Vitamin-D.aspx
Eat Right Ontario. Understanding non-dairy alternatives. 2016.
Fleischer DM, Spergel JM, Assa’ad AH, Pongracic. J Allergy Clin Immunol: In Practice 2013;1:29-36.
Health Canada. Dietary Reference Intakes Tables. 2010 Nov 29.
Health Canada. Guideline: Nutrition for Health Term Infants: Recommendations from 6-24 months.2015 Jan 19. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn- an/nutrition/infant-nourisson/recom/recom- 6-24- months-6-24- mois-eng.php#a19
USDA. Milk, Goat, Fluid, with added Vitamin D. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. 2016.
Material on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice. Always seek professional medical consultation by a licensed medical or naturopathic physician for diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition. Please seek medical attention immediately if ever concerned.