Drinks for children

12 months and beyond

  • Keep breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby are happy to.
  • Infant formula is not needed after 12 months.
  • You can give your baby full-cream cow’s milk.
  • From around 12 months of age your child does not need more than 500 mL or 2 cups of milk a day.
  • Too much milk can stop children from eating other everyday foods because it fills them up.
  • When your child is 2 years old, they can have low fat or reduced-fat milk (not skim or fat free milk).
  • Sweet drinks such as juice, cordial and soft drink are high in sugar and are not good for teeth.

Make water the main drink

  • Tap water is the best everyday drink for children and adults.
  • Give water whenever your child asks for a drink.
  • Have water on the table at mealtimes.
  • Show that you enjoy drinking water by drinking it too.
  • Take a water bottle when you go out.


Fun items such as straws, drink bottles or decorated cups can make drinking water fun.

Content taken from page 12 of the Start them Right Booklet