Transitioning from Formula - Toddlers + Milk


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I'm not sure if this would be better on the HMHB site, but I'm not a member so I was hoping I could start here. 

I'm not currently on a W30, but have done quite a few and live a mostly Paleo life style. My husband is a little less paleo, as his responses to the non-compliant foods weren't as significant as mine. From everything I've learned about Dairy, specifically, from doing the W30 and removing it from my life for the most part, I just don't feel comfortable giving it to my son on a regular basis. However, he will be 1 in two weeks and I am super nervous about the transition off of formula/breastmilk. Everything that's recommended online and from our pediatrician is to slowly replace formula with cow's milk because kids need the calories, but that is a lot of milk! :( 

We have taken a mostly baby-led weaning approach to solid foods since 6 months, so he is already eating the same solid foods I eat and can handle sippy cups, straws, and open cups (for the most part), so I'm not concerned about removing the bottle so much as I'm concerned about replacing the nutrition. It's easy now to comfort myself when he doesn't eat anything because "Food until 1 is Just for Fun," but when he's ONLY getting nutrition from solid foods, I am sure I will be more concerned. 

How have other Whole30 alums handled this transition?

I saw some other posts suggest smoothies, so I'm thinking maybe we could give him plain coconut milk or coconut milk smoothies with meals or snacks instead? Have others found brands of Almond Milk or other nut milks without a lot of sugar? I can't handle nut milk, it messes with my stomach, but my husband drinks it regularly in smoothies. My son LOVES avocado, so maybe offering him even MORE avocado will ensure that he gets enough calories... however, finding ripe ones in MidWest America is tough!

I would love to hear others ideas! Thanks!

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One question, forgive if I'm too forward: 
Are you breastfeeding?

If you are breastfeeding (maybe he drinks both formula/breastmilk? Cause you mention both) I would simply remove the formula.
Breastmilk is by far nutritionally more interesting, and toddlers are much better than adults at knowing what they need - I'm sure he would ask you for more.
Current WHO recomendations are to breastfeed at least until 2-years-old, and I think it give moms the peace of mind of knowing that if our toddler is getting a proper nutrition even if he does not eat everything on his plate.

If you are no longer breastfeeding or you are planning on stopping any time soon, I don't think that any kind of substitute is actually required. 
If your toddler likes them he may eat dairy products, or cononut milk, or nuts milk. But he does not need any of them whatsoever.

Keep offering him balanced meals, and you'll see that he'll be choosing/asking for more energetic food when he needs it.
My son in those cases (he's 4 now) chooses highly-caloric fruit such as bananas, yours may be choosing sweet potatoes or carrots, but I'm sure he'll be asking for it.

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In part, the milk is extra calories but also, depending on the kid, that may be their primary source of protein. Don't forget that the overwhelming majority of non-dairy milks are cloudy water. There's practically nothing in them at all. That'll take up space in a hungry tummy, but not give much in the way of macro and micro nutrients.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Whole30 Certified Coach

I'm still breast feeding a 3 year old... who barely ate food until pretty late so I have no idea what would happen if you just weaned away formula/milk and offered water and food.  I wonder if he would just eat (food) more or if he'd lose weight.  If you really don't want to do milk I'd start adding water to the formula and see if he picks up his caloric intake from food.  Maybe like 25% water, 75% formula for a week, then 50/50 etc and see if you notice that he naturally seeks more calories from other sources.  In terms of highly nutritious food: homemade bone broth, liver, sardines, coconut cream (my son would eat a 1000 calorie can if I let him!), salmon, sweet potatoes with quality grassfed butter or ghee.  We also did baby led weaning (Loved It!) and our son is a great eater.  I would just keep offering him as nutrient-dense food as you can and see what happens.  Obviously monitor his weight, wet diapers, etc as you do this... Google Clara M Davis if you haven't heard of her.  She did some interesting research in the 20s about early toddlers and self-selecting foods.  Might ease your mind :)  Here is a blog post written about her studies.

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