The Milk Ladder

The Milk Ladder is reproduced here with kind permission of Carina Venter, Trevor Brown, Neil Shah, Joanne Walsh and Adam T. Fox who published the 2 page ladder and guidance in October 2013.

IFAN is aware that some parents are surprised or concerned to see that some foods on the Milk Ladder contain sugar, and so may not be considered as a “healthy” food choice for a young child.

IFAN advises that the Milk Ladder is not aimed at all children-it is aimed only at those who have, or may be at risk of, milk allergy.  The recipes were developed by health care professionals who are aware of the role of refined sugars in childhood obesity.  However, the Milk Ladder, when followed appropriately, moves milk allergic children off the bottom steps within 1 – 2 months, so there are unlikely to be long term physical consequences and sugar intake can be modified elsewhere during this critical phase of what is a medically indicated diet.

MAP page 1Having used the Milk Ladder or similar tools for more than 6 years, the IFAN working group has not seen an adverse effect on the weight of children who have completed it.

It is, however, possible that children who do not move off the bottom step of the Milk Ladder may be offered the higher sugar foods for longer.   It is our experience that those children, for complicated reasons, hardly eat any of the foods advised anyway and some have become accustomed to other foods which are far more harmful to their long term health than milk or sugar.

The Milk Ladder is a specific tool designed for the purpose of inducing tolerance, when there is milk allergy or a risk of milk allergy, which takes priority over healthy eating, for the short term in which the Milk Ladder is used.

The foods contained on the Milk Ladder have been chosen specifically because they contain a certain amount of milk that has been cooked (or not) for a particular length of time at a particular temperature.

Download a pdf of the Milk Ladder.

Please note: for home-made milk ladder foods, the correct milk containing recipes can be found here, rather than at the link stated in practical point 6 on page 2 of the ladder.

Guidance and instructions on its use are provided on page 2 of the pdf.

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