All Organic Valley products are USDA Organic Certified, which means we don’t use toxic pesticides, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs, so choosing organic products is a worry-free option for your family.
In our Organic Milk Buying Guide, we outlined all the milk options we offer, but you also wondered which of those options were best for different ages.
Your wish is our command! We’ve rearranged the list here to focus on which milks are great for different life stages.
Best Milk for Babies Transitioning to Cow's Milk
We asked a registered dietitian when it was recommended for babies to be introduced to cow's milk, and she said it’s encouraged when your baby turns 1 and after you have had the conversation with your health care provider. Babies should start out with organic whole white milk, like Organic Valley Whole Milk. The fat intake is important to support a baby’s brain development.
Babies might have to adapt to the taste of cow’s milk when they first start the transition. It is suggested by Lauren Manaker, a registered dietitian, to combine ¼ cup of cow’s milk with ¾ cup of breast milk or formula and gradually increase the ratio of cow’s milk.
If your baby has been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, Organic Valley whole milk also comes in a lactose-free version!
Like all foods for little ones, moderation is key. Make sure your baby isn’t getting more than 24 ounces of cow’s milk per day.
Good Organic Valley milk choices for babies:
- Whole white pasture-raised milk
- Whole lactose-free milk (if recommended by your pediatrician)
Best Milk for Toddlers
Setting your toddler up with healthy eating habits that support their growth and development is essential for their long-term well-being. Milk provides calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin A, zinc, and other essential nutrients that support healthy growth and development.
Once your child turns 2, a lower-fat milk can be introduced, if desired or if recommended by your child’s health care provider, but whole milk will continue to provide healthy fats that children need for their speedy development at this age. Lower-fat milk should not be given before age 2.
Manaker says omega-3 fatty acids support healthy brain development and are extremely good for your heart. Omega-3 and CLA fatty acids are naturally found in some animal fats—fatty fish like salmon are well-known to have higher levels, but studies have shown they are found in higher concentrations in grass-fed and pasture-raised milk and grass-fed meat too!
Good Organic Valley milk choices for toddlers:
- Whole pasture-raised milk (also available lactose-free)
- Whole Grassmilk® 100% grass-fed milk for higher levels of beneficial fatty acids
Best Milk for Young Children
During these pivotal years, children are growing like weeds and parents may be purchasing gallons of milk a week to support their growth and brain development. Most milk options would be good choices for this age, so we recommend having a conversation with your child’s health care provider about your child’s unique needs.
Organic Valley has a few milk options that would suit most children’s needs. Our Whole Milk is always a good choice for kids because their growing bodies need healthy fats and milk’s 9 essential nutrients. Our Reduced Fat 2% Milk is a good option for parents who opt for lower fat, and it’s a great choice if you need to satisfy other members of the family. It’s also found nearly everywhere nationwide.
Good Organic Valley milk choices for young children:
- Whole or 2% pasture-raised milk (also available lactose-free)
Best Milk for Teens
You start letting your children make their own choices about what they eat when they hit teenagedom. But sometimes teens make poor choices when it comes to choosing what they eat. At least as a parent, if you keep plenty of delicious and nutritious organic milk in the fridge, you’ll know that you’re helping your teen choose the best milk as they continue to grow.
It is recommended that teens try to consume 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day, and active teens may need a protein boost as well. Although any milk is great for this age, we have two great fortified milk options that contain higher levels of calcium and protein along with all the other nutrients provided by milk.
Our widely available low-fat and skim milks are fortified to provide 30% RDV of calcium per serving. They also have 25% to 30% more protein per serving than regular milk. The best part is that you won’t sacrifice taste for these benefits! To add the nutrients without adding fat, we add Organic Valley Nonfat Dry Milk Powder to the fluid organic milk, which also creates a wonderful creamy texture. Essentially, fortified milk is milk with more milk in it! (Read more: What is Organic Valley Fortified Milk?)
Good Organic Valley milk choices for teens:
- Lowfat and nonfat Fortified Milk
- Regular pasture-raised milk: any fat level
Best Milk for Adults
The nice part about being an adult is that you get to make your own choices, like if you want to have ice cream for dinner. But beyond the occasional ice cream splurge, we should really lead by example and drink our recommended 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. Our bodies don’t produce calcium on their own, so drinking a glass of Grassmilk® with a cookie before bed or putting a splash of Grassmilk half-and-half in your coffee before work will help support your health.
Our Grassmilk comes from cows that eat 100% grass and dried forages, which means no grains! Because of the huge quantities of fresh grass and dried forages the cows eat, Grassmilk has a slightly different flavor from our regular milks. The higher levels of omega-3 in Grassmilk are also great for adults.
Grassmilk is the cream of the crop, but of course our other milks are tasty and nutritious as well! If you’re lactose-intolerant (which becomes more common in adults), we’ve got you covered with all four fat levels of Organic Valley Lactose-free milk, which is tested to verify it is indeed lactose-free.
Good Organic Valley milk choices for adults:
- 100% grass-fed Grassmilk®
- Lactose-free pasture-raised milk
Best Milk for Older Adults
Maintaining a healthy diet is important no matter what age we are. It is recommended that older adults have at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day to keep bones healthy and strong.
Which milk you choose at this age all depends on the nutritional factors you’re looking for:
- More protein and calcium? Try our Fortified Lowfat and Skim Milks.
- More omega-3 fatty acids? Choose Grassmilk®, which has more beneficial fatty acids thanks to the cows’ 100% grass-fed diet.
- Lactose intolerant? Try our lactose-free pasture-raised milk. It contains all the same nutrition and benefits as regular milk without the tummy troubles.
- Want a delicious, consistent organic milk that’s available everywhere? Any of our regular pasture-raised white milks will be great for you.
Where to Buy
Organic Valley milk is available at supermarkets and natural food stores nationwide! But did you know we’re also available online? If you can’t find the type of Organic Valley milk you’re looking for, check out Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and other online shopping options available in your area to have our milk delivered straight to your door.
No matter what milk you go with, Organic Valley has your back. We want to be with you during all stages of life! We believe that the love we give our animals comes out in all the products we make, and we’re proud to share that love with you and your family.
Read more about the outdoorsy goodness we heap onto our cows, which results in amazingly delicious products for you! Thank you for choosing us!