A dash of cinnamon helps the milk go down

Here’s how Whitney (one of the Rookie Moms) makes milk more palatable for her non-milk-drinking daughter:

My 14-month old daughter does not like to drink milk. My pediatrician suggested offering chocolate milk and then to slowly reduce the amount of chocolate I add. Somehow, I just can’t get comfortable giving my baby chocolate milk. (Plus then I have to keep it in the house and constantly negotiate about it with my preschooler.)

Recently I was making my almost-4-year old a special drink of foamed milk with a drop of vanilla extract and a shake of cinnamon in it, when it occurred to me to offer this to the baby as well. She drank some! Over the next few weeks I dropped the vanilla and simplified it to a shake of cinnamon in the cup before I pour in her milk. She’s drinking more and more of it. No guarantees on toddler tastes of course, but warm cinnamon milk seems pretty hard to resist.

Also delicious: a pinch of cardamom.

Related: Bedtime sore throat soother: Warm milk and honey


  1. Evelyn says

    We use a tiny bit of ovaltine (1/2 a teaspoon in about 6oz of milk) and call it “hot cocoa”. Our toddler loves it.

  2. says

    I quit worrying about having my son drink milk at all. My pediatrician thought he was getting plenty of protein and calcium without it. About a year later he decided he liked it again but still only has one glass a day.

  3. says

    While the 15mo is a big white milk drinker, the 5yo won’t touch it and we’ve been using chocolate syrup ever since (with occaisional fruit “smoothies” to try to up the health value = milk, sugar, frozen fruit).

    I will absolutely give this a try. I’m a huge fan of vanilla steamed milk myself. I don’t have an espresso machine, though. Will my handheld mixer froth warm milk?

  4. says

    I’ll agree that I don’t even worry about the LO drinking milk. He enjoys cheese and yogurt and other sources of calcium and fats. I don’t think cow’s milk is really all that necessary anyway. I wouldn’t stress about it.

    Sounds yummy though! ;)

  5. says

    I read recently that warm milk with a drop or two of vanilla is supposed to taste quite a bit like breastmilk.

    Cinnamon is wonderful stuff, and can help digestion. I’ve never thought to put it in milk. Clever!

  6. says

    My kids drink Ovaltine. It’s got lots of vitamins and whatnot. Certainly healthier than Hershey’s or Quik. Several years ago I did a side-by-side comparison in the grocery store, and Ovaltine was healthier (more vitamins, less sugar, fewer calories) than Instant Breakfast. So, we’ve stuck with it.

    I’ll see, though, if they like the cinnamon. Couldn’t hurt for the days when we’re out of Ovaltine!

    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  7. Vivian says

    We do Ovaltine also, and put less and less so my son is willing to drink plain milk sometimes too. But cinnamon is a great idea, can’t wait to try it.

  8. Zulema says

    I recently tried something similar with my toddler when she was fighting a cold. We would make cinnamon tea and give her some with a lot of milk (it was about a 1 part tea 3 parts milk ratio). She loved it!

  9. says

    I’m going to have to try this with the rice milk, too.

    One child allergic to cow dairy, can’t have soy milk, and doesn’t like chocolate rice milk or plain rice milk. BUT, she likes chocolate chai rice milk, don’t know why I didn’t think of adding cinnamon myself… d’oh!

  10. Jennifer says

    When I first introduced whole milk to my exclusively breastfed baby, i slowly changed the ratio of milk to breastmilk in his daycare bottles. It worked great, until I went to straight whole milk! I then started mixing yogurt smoothy in with the whole milk. He still wont drink straight milk at 18 months, but I only need to add about an ounce of smoothy to 5 ounces of milk to get him to drink it.