The American Academy of Pediatrics has deemed toddler formulas, marketed for children aged 6 to 36 months, insufficient in nutritional value. The report emphasizes that these formulas are not necessary and suggests that infants under 12 months should use breast milk or infant formula, while children 12 months and older should have a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and cow’s milk.

The sales of toddler formula have seen a big increase, reaching $92 million in 2015. However, these products can be pricier and have less protein but more fat than cow’s milk. Many mothers, especially from Black and Hispanic communities, believe that toddler milk is better for nutrition than cow’s milk. The AAP cautions that specialized toddler formulas may not offer big nutritional benefits and criticizes the marketing tactics used by the companies that make these products. Although toddler milk can be important for children with specific health needs, most children don’t need special products after they turn one. Toddler milks might increase vitamin D and E levels compared to regular cow’s milk, but for those who can eat a balanced diet of solid foods, the need for special formulas decreases. The AAP report also advises against using toddler formulas due to worries about their content, which often includes added sugars.