Dairy for infants

The first 12 months of life is a time of rapid growth. A nutritious diet is critical for healthy growth and development.

Breastfeeding provides the healthiest start for babies. In fact, in Australia, it's recommended infants are exclusively breastfed until around six months of age and continue to 12 months where possible.

If a baby is not breastfed or partially breastfed, infant formulas should be used as an alternative to breast milk until 12 months of age.

When to introduce dairy foods to babies is a common concern among parents. Regular-fat yoghurt, cheese and custard can be introduced around the age of six months along with other solid foods. Regular-fat dairy products (as opposed to choosing low-fat products) provide the extra energy babies need for growth.

Milk should not be given as the main drink to infants under 12 months of age but small amounts can be used when making solid foods like cereals and custards for babies aged around six months.

Regular-fat milk may be introduced at around 12 months of age and continued as children get older. Low-fat and reduced-fat milks are not recommended for children under the age of two.