How to get 4 year old to drink milk (of any kind)?

My child went from breast milk to almost no milk at all around age 20 months. We've tried cow whole fat, cow reduced fat, goat milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, but he's always been a fan of plain old WATER. Milk just sits around getting warm and getting tossed out. He's almost 4 now, used to be above average on the height chart, but now he's slightly below average for his age.  He sometimes eats tofu, broccoli, almonds, coco-yogurt (he doesn't like cow yogurt), and I feel like he's barely cobbling together enough calcium from here and there, and maybe I should push the milk (any kind) more, but not sure how to go about it.

I've tried milk+cereal, but he scoops out as much of the dry cereal as possible and leaves the milk behind.

We're against added sugars so chocolate and strawberry flavored milks are out.

Any suggestions? I would prefer to not use bribery or threats because he's otherwise a healthy and hearty eater.

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In my experience, milk is one of those foods people either like or don't like, and if they don't like it, drinking it is really unpleasant for them.  I like milk, my husband hates it, and my son absolutely loves it (to the tune of a half-gallon a day..)  My husband and my son both have strong bones.  There are many other sources of calcium, and some studies out there, I believe, to the effect that milk is not necessarily the healthiest source of calcium or other minerals anyway.  (The dairy industry apparently has really good PR which is why we all think young kids should drink a lot of milk).  I personally think it's bad for your skin too (my son has acne).  Also, even if it doesn't have added sugar, it's my understanding that even regular milk has a fair amount of sugar. That said, if you want more dairy in his diet, how does he feel about cheese?

P.S. kids do move around on the growth chart, too, so try not to stress about that too much.

Yes, it is common for children to not like milk for awhile after weaning from breast milk.  Breastmilk is so sweet and creamy, really nothing else compares!  Sounds like you are worried that his growth is slowing down...please ask your pediatrician if this is related to his diet, so you don't have to worry.  Kids pick up on the pressure we feel around how they are eating, and that can make him very resistant to milk.  3 and 4 years old is an age when kids eat very little, their growth really slows compared to the 1 year old kid.  Typically 2 cups of milk or the equivalent is recommended for kids his age.  Some kids like smoothies, try mango or banana blended with milk, offer 2-4 oz at a time.  Cheese is an excellent option, every 1.5 oz cheese ( 2 cheese sticks) is equivalent of one cup of milk.  Some make muffins using dry milk powder to get a bit more calcium.  But if he doesn't eat dairy, just know that the small amount of calcium in other foods tends to add up.  Don't worry about adding up the amounts, just offer a variety of foods that contain calcium.  Some breakfast cereals have a lot of calcium in them, without drinking the milk.  

Just to put your mind at ease, my son hated milk and dairy, too. And he grew up in France where drinking tons of milk is considered vital for children! so his pediatrician was worried about it. He would eat some hard cheeses like gruyere and emmenthal, which are high in calcium, and plain yogurt, but not too much. I finally gave up around age 3 and he's 6'2" today at age 16, so he grew just fine! However, if you do want to have him drink some calcium, have you tried a fruit-flavored liquid calcium supplement? I used this one, which is cheap in Europe, but you might find something like it. I mixed it with water in his sippy cup and he would drink it.

Hemp milk?

My EBF daughter was the same way until recently. She hated milk when we completely weaned around 3. One thing that helped was giving her a "baby-chino" in her own 'mug' when I had my morning latte. I would lightly warm the milk and use the Aerofrother on it to give it foam and add a dash of cinnamon. She loved it and slowly started asking for it and she begs for her own baby-chino when we go out to coffee shops now.
I also think making healthy smoothies using a milk base helped us with introducing the flavor of the milk. I would blend it into a healthy smoothie (milk-cow or almond, with some coconut, strawberry or fruit and veggies he likes) and then slowly increasing the amount of milk liquid over time. I would have her help me prep the smoothies and add the milk, spinach, banana etc and so she saw everything going in. This also helped with eating some of the greens she was opposed to.
Good luck! 

Has your pediatrician recommended/suggested that you work on weight gain or calcium intake? Otherwise, milk is optional. There are plenty of other sources of calcium, fat, protein, etc. Our 2 and almost 4 year olds never got regular cow milk after they aged out of breastmilk and formula. They eat lots of cheese and whole milk, plain yogurt as part of their diet. Basically, unless your ped has suggested it, I wouldn’t worry about it at all!

Having raised 4 kids I think I can say with some authority that having a child who refuses milk is not truly a problem. My 2 sons, strapping young men now, never wanted milk. I would hate to see this issue cause your son to feel you are no longer his ally.

If he really doesn't like it I don't see why it's necessary - he's made it to 4 and assuming you and your doctor don't have any health concerns then he is clearly getting all the nutrition he needs! I think we tend to assume there is something magical about milk in childhood but really it's just a question of calcium and vitamin D. Would he go for unlimited cheese string instead? :)

Does your son eat cheese? Seems like the next best thing if he won't drink high calcium beverages. Eg grilled cheese, quesadillas, pizza.

I hate the flavor of milk. I absolutely won't drink any plain milk. And have all my life. My parents allowed me to drink chocolate milk.

I'd say go for chocolate or strawberry milk if you feel your kid doesn't get enough calcium otherwise. If you want to avoid sugar, use unsweetened cocoa and add just a touch of whatever sweetener is acceptable to you.

I cannot drink milk straight but chocolate milk is doable. My son is the same and tall for his age. Cheese and spinach are wonderful for my picky budding preteen. I try to temper my anxiety around nutrition because I don't want to instill the wrong messages around food, body image, and health. I was super selective with food as a child and grew up in a West Indian family where food and eating everything on your plate was an expression of love. As a mom, I know now how my mother felt when bread and butter were all I cared about at one point. No bribery no threats, just find ways to get good sources of calcium in his favorite foods.