The American Academy of Pediatrics' Section on Breastfeeding states in its Feb. 2005 policy statement "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk":
milk is species-specific, and all substitute feeding preparations
differ markedly from it, making human milk uniquely superior for infant
feeding... Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive
breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development
for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing
protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection.
Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life
and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child...
Infants weaned before 12 months of age should not receive cow's milk
but should receive iron-fortified infant formula."
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reported in its website article "Milk: No Longer Recommended or Required" (accessed June 11, 2007):
"Health risks from milk consumption are greatest for infants less than one year of age, in whom whole cow's milk can contribute to deficiencies in several nutrients, including iron, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E...
Cow's milk products are very low in iron, containing only about one-tenth of a milligram (mg) per eight-ounce serving... Milk can also cause blood loss from the intestinal tract, which, over time, reduces the body's iron stores... In a large proportion of infants, the feeding of cow milk causes a substantial increase of hemoglobin loss. Some infants are exquisitely sensitive to cow milk and can lose large quantities of blood."
The American Council on Science and Health explained in its Sep. 1999 report "Much Ado About Milk":
"For children age one
year and older... the scientific community endorses cows' milk and
other dairy products as valuable foods that make important positive
nutritional contributions to the diets of children and adults...
and dairy products are safe and nutritious foods for growing children,
and parents should make use of them unless there's some specific
medical reason to avoid them... They are concentrated with many of the
forms of nutrients that children need to grow well...
milk is recommended for children between the ages of one and two years
because these very young children need the energy (calories) from fat
for proper growth and for the development of the brain and nervous
The National Dairy Council wrote in its 2000 report "Newer Knowledge of Dairy of Foods: Dairy Products in Human Nutrition":
"Cow's milk (i.e., whole, 2% reduced fat, 1% lowfat, nonfat or skim, evaporated) is not recommended for infants during the first 12 months of life...
Cow's milk may be introduced to children over 1 year of age. However, because of children's need for foods of high nutrient density to support their growth and development, nonfat and lowfat milks or other fat-modified dairy foods are not recommended for children between the ages of 1 and 2...
Three servings per day of Milk Group foods are recommended for children ages 1 to 3. The portion sizes recommended for young children are smaller than adult servings. For young children 1 to 3 years of age, a serving is about two-thirds of typical serving size, or about 6 ounces of milk or yogurt and about 1 ounce of cheese."