When should kids switch to skim milk?

Q: I know that at some point kids should drink skim milk as part of a low-fat diet. But what's the right age to switch kids from whole milk to skim milk?
Sheila

A: Breast milk is the food of choice for at least the first year or beyond. Cow's milk should be avoided until after a child is 1 year old.

Kids younger than 2 though shouldn't have reduced-fat milk. Babies need fat in their diets for a variety of reasons, including neurological development. Kids should drink whole milk from ages 1 to 2; then if their growth is steady, it's safe to switch to low-fat or skim milk.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your child's growth or nutritional needs.