Is your toddler drinking too much milk?
Parents are feeding their toddlers too much milk and putting them at risk of obesity, experts warn.
New research has found that a significant portion of children are consuming excess protein each day, putting them at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Researchers from University College London, Oxford and Bristol universities claim that protein consumption was so high because parents are giving their toddlers too much milk, yoghurt and other dairy products.
The study focused on data for 2,336 children and found that average daily calorie intake “significantly exceeded” the recommended 968 limit, with 63 per cent of children consuming an average of 1,035 calories. Protein intake, at around 40 grams a day, was also nearly three times higher than the recommended 15 grams, while fibre intake at 8 grams was half the recommended amount.
Researchers also found that at 21 months, the average British toddler was getting a quarter of their calories from cow's milk. However, the National Health Service (NHS) advises they should not have more than 600ml of milk per day.
Lead study author Hayley Syrad said it is important for parents to understand what their little ones are consuming as dietary preferences and habits are established during the first two years of life.
Experts advise that toddlers need good eating and drinking habits, and should have at least five portion so fruit and vegetables, oily fish and starchy food, while consuming limited amounts of sugary and fatty foods.
The study is published in the British Journal of Nutrition.