Milk Guidance

3/31/2022 | Lauren Vonderhaar, RDN, LD

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Calcium and Vitamin D

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Age Amount of Calcium Per Day Amount of Vitamin D Per Day
0-6 Months 200 mg 400 IU
7-12 Months 260 mg 400 IU
1-3 Years 700 mg 600 IU
4-8 Years 1000 mg 600 IU
9-18 Years 1300 mg 600 IU
*Chart from

Milk Recommendations

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Age Growth % Weight or Weight for Length Amount Recommended Options (All Unflavored/Unsweetened)
0-12 Months Up to 7-8 oz/feeding; <32oz/day Breastmilk or formula; *may require formula/Breastmilk fortification/higher concentration for slow growth
12-24 Months 16-24oz/day Continued breastmilk, Whole milk, fortified soymilk, fortified hemp milk (+additional fat/protein foods), fortified pea protein milk, or continued formula (in cup) if not switching to whole milk
>24 Months 5-85% 16-24oz/day Family preference
>24 Months <5% 16-24oz/day Consult with Dr/RD, Whole milk, fortified soymilk, fortified pea protein milk, protein nut milk
>24 Months >85% 16-20oz/day Consult with Dr/RD, Skim or 1% LF milk, nut milk, flaxseed milk
“Whole milk” can indicate: conventional whole milk, organic or grass fed whole milk, A2 whole milk, whole ultra filtered milk (Fair life), whole goat’s milk, whole lactose free milk
“Skim or LF Milk” can indicate: conventional LF/skim milk, organic or grass fed LF milk, A2 skim/lf milk, skim/lf ultra filtered milk, LF goat’s milk, LF/skim lactose free milk

Milk Guide

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Type Brand Names Kcal/8oz Pro/8oz Ca(mg) Vitamin D (mcg) Pros/Cons
Whole Milk Local/store branded 150 8 390 5 Pros: Compete protein, higher protein, locally sourced, high fat content may promote satiety, dairy saturated fat under research for potential benefits, possible improved Vitamin D absorption

Cons: May be difficult to digest, higher in saturated fat
Skim Milk Local/store branded 80 8 390 5 Pros: Complete protein, higher protein, locally sourced, low in saturated fat

Cons: May be difficult to digest, less satiety
A2 Milk (version of cow’s milk) A2 Milk Company, Snowville Creamery 2% 130 9 300-390 2.5-5 Pros: A2 protein is most likely easier to digest than A1 protein (cow’s milk is a blend of A1 and A2), locally sourced, complete protein, higher protein, available in multiple fat percentages

Cons: Cost, availability
Almond Milk Almond Breeze, Silk Almond, Pacific, Dream, Califia Farms, Store branded 60 1 450 2.5 Pros: High in vitamin E, lactose free, vegan friendly

Cons: Low protein, flavored versions may contain 13g of sugar
Soy Milk Silk Soymilk, 8th Continent, Dream, Pacific, Store branded 80-120 8 450 3 Pros: Equal protein to cow’s milk, contains 2g fiber, lactose free and vegan friendly

Cons: Perceived soy “fear”, flavored versions may have ~16g sugar
Protein Nut Milk Silk 130 10 450 2.5 Pros: High protein, lactose free, vegan friendly, contains 7.5g unsaturated healthy fats

Cons: Higher in sodium (230mg), cost, availability
Pea Protein Milk Ripple 110 10 450 4 Pros: Allergen friendly, lactose free, vegan friendly, high in protein, vegan DHA added, trending product

Cons: Cost, multiple ingredients, availability
Coconut Milk Silk, So Delicious, Pacific, Coconut Dream, Store branded 70 0 130-460 2 Pros: Lactose free, vegan friendly

Cons: High in saturated fat, no protein
Rice Milk Enriched Rice Dream 120 0 280 5 Pros: Lactose free, allergen friendly, vegan friendly, 1.5g monounsaturated fats per serving

Cons: No protein, higher sugar and carb content
Flaxseed Milk Good Karma 50 0 280 2.2 Pros: 1200mg ALA omega-3s per serving, allergen friendly, lactose free, vegan friendly

Cons: Cost, no protein, availability
Organic Milk - 2% Stoneyfield Farms, Horizon, Store branded, Organic Valley 120 8 390 4.5 Pros: Contains slight amount of omega-3s and CLAs (more than conventional milk), complete protein, high protein, multiple fat percentages

Cons: Cost, confusion with organics, may be difficult to digest
Ultra Filtered Milk Fairlife, CarbMaster 100-120 11-13 360-450 2.5-5 Pros: Lactose free, complete protein, higher protein, diabetic friendly, multiple fat percentages

Cons: Cost
Macadamia Nut Milk Milkadamia 40 1 390 5 Pros: Lactose free, vegan friendly, 3mg monounsaturated fats per serving

Cons: Low protein, cost, availability
Oat Milk Planet Oat, Silk Oat, Chobani Oat, Oat Dream, Pacific, Oatly, Simply Oat, store branded 90-130 1-3 300-460 4 Pros: Contains soluble fiber, lactose free, vegan friendly, allergen friendly

Cons: Low protein, not always suitable for gluten free diets
Raw Milk Local herd shares; illegal to sell in OH Unregulated Unregulated Unregulated Unregulated Pros: Believed to have beneficial enzymes for digestion and probiotics that would not otherwise survive pasteurization

Cons: Very high food borne illness risk, controversial, CDC advocates avoidance
Goat’s Milk Local, Meyenberg-whole 140 8 300 3 Pros: Naturally A2 protein- easier to digest, fat evenly distributes so does not require homogenization, complete protein, high protein

Cons: Cost, availability, Western culture acceptance
Grassfed Milk Horizon, Maple Hill, Organic Valley, Store branded 130 8 390 2.5 Pros: Contains most omega-3s and CLA of all cow’s milk (though not as high as other omega-3 food sources), complete protein, high protein

Cons: Cost, availability, earthier taste
Cashew Milk Silk, Pacific 25-50 0 450 2.5 Pros: Lactose and vegan friendly

Cons: No protein, Pacific brand is not fortified, availability
Hemp Milk Pacific, Living Harvest Tempt 80-140 2-4 260-390 2-5 Pros: 8g of fat with omega 3s, lactose free, vegan friendly, allergen friendly

Cons: Cost, Low protein, availability
Lactose free milk-2% Lactaid, store branded, Horizon, etc. 130 8 300 2.5 Pros: Lactose free, Complete protein, higher protein, locally sourced, multiple fat percentages

Cons: Tastes sweeter than milk
Protein Cow’s Milk Stoneyfield Farms 120 11 380 3 Pros: Extra protein added, complete protein

Cons: Cost, availability, may be difficult to digest

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