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1 - 2 Years

Click to download a handy quick reference sheet for the beverage guidelines. (pdf)


  • For children aged 1-2 years; whole milk
  • For children ages 24+ months; 1% or fat-free milk
  • Water with no added sweeteners


  • 100% fruit and vegetable juices (with no added sweeteners) to no more than 1/2 cup (4 oz.) per day.

Not Recommended

  • Soft drinks
  • Sports/energy drinks
  • Sugary beverages including fruit based drinks with added sweeteners that contain less than 100% real fruit juice, sweetened iced teas, punch, etc.
  • Artificially sweetened beverages including diet soft drinks, teas, lemonade, etc.
  • Caffeinated beverages

Portion Size

Item Meals Snacks

Exempt from portion limit

100% Fruit
& Vegetable Juices with no added
No more than 1/2
cup (4 oz.) per day
Milk Whole milk for children 12 to 24 months

1% or fat-free for childen 24+ months

1/2 cup (4 oz.) during meals for children 1-2 years old
1/2 cup (4 oz.)


Why milk?
  • Low calcium intake is one of the more significant nutrient deficiencies identified in Healthy People 2010. Milk and milk products are high in nutritional value and provide calcium,protein, and Vitamin D for bone growth and development.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the daily consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other calcium-rich foods to help build strong bone mass in all growing children and adolescents.

Why whole milk for children younger than 2 years old?
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends serving whole milk to children under 2 years of age.
  • Whole milk provides some fats that are necessary for early growth and brain and spinal cord development.

Why 1% or fat-free milk for children aged 2 years and older?
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends serving 1% or fat-free milk to children aged yearsand older.
  • 1% and fat-free milk contain as much calcium and Vitamin D as 2% and whole milk without the extra calories and saturated fat.

Why limit juice?
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting juice to one 4-ounce serving a day in younger children.
  • Excessive juice consumption may be linked to overweight or obesity.
  • Excessive juice consumption is associated with tooth decay and diarrhea in children.
  • Whole fruits and vegetables are preferred to juice because they provide nutrients and fiber that may be lost in the processing of juice.

Why are sugary beverages not recommended?
  • Sports and soft drinks are generally high in calories and low in nutrients.
  • Consumption of sugary beverages is associated with:
    • Calcium deficiency because sugary beverages displace milk.
    • Overweight or obesity.
    • Tooth decay.

Why no diet beverages or artificial sweeteners?
  • Children have little tummies and while diet and artificially sweetened beverages have few calories,they may displace the intake of more nutritious drinks such as or fat-free milk that children need in order to grow.

Why no other food or drink in the bottle?
  • By age 1, all children should be drinking exclusively from a cup.
  • Tooth decay is linked to using a bottle after 12 months of age.