Nowadays there are a lot of tips, hints and hacks that claim milk is not good for us. Yes, cow’s milk isn’t good for people who have lactose intolerance, but many parents make a huge mistake when they eliminate milk from their children’s eating plans. Yesterday my neighbor said, “I read that milk is bad for us, so I stopped buying it at all and started giving my child a fresh juice instead of milk.” It’s shocking how easily we trust those articles without realizing the consequences.
Milk as well as other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium and protein – two essential nutrients for your child’s growth and development. Milk is also rich in vitamin D (yogurt and cheese don’t contain it), another important nutrient for your child’s body. Unless you consult your child’s doctor, don’t eliminate any foods from your kid’s diet. The last thing you want your little one to deal with is nutrient deficiency. Without further ado, here are some of the main reasons your child should drink a glass of milk each day.
1. Milk is essential for nerve and brain development
Ask any pediatrician and they will tell you that regardless of age any child need to drink milk for a proper nerve and brain development. The problem is what kind of milk to give your child. Low-fat or whole? While I can advice you to give your kids whole milk, you should consult your child’s doctor to know exactly what to buy, because every child has different needs and health issues. When deciding what kind of milk and how much of it your child needs, a pediatrician takes into consideration your child’s weight, height and age.
2. It helps build healthy, strong bones
When it come’s to child’s bones, three factors determine strong bones: physical activity, genetics, and calcium. Milk is fortified with calcium. Drinking milk regularly helps prevent bone growth disorders and reduce your child’s risk of bone fractures when injured. As I mentioned above, milk is a good source of vitamin D that helps the body absorb calcium, preventing brittle bones and inflammation.
3. It’s good for your child’s dental health
Drinking milk daily keeps your child’s teeth healthy and strong. Due to its high nutrient content milk helps protect the enamel surface against acidic substances and reduce the risk of weak gums and decayed teeth. Many moms claim that their kids drink less sugary drinks when they drink milk. And you probably know, the less sugary drinks you consume, the healthier teeth you have. Sure, it doesn’t mean your little one should drink milk throughout the day – too much milk is bad for your child’s health.
4. Milk helps prevent dehydration
Just like you should keep your body hydrated during the day, it’s crucial for your child to stay hydrated too. Kids are more active than we are so it’s a bit harder for them keep their little bodies hydrated. Since milk is high in water molecules, it can help prevent dehydration. Again, moderation is a must here. When children drink too much milk, they forgo many nutrient-rich foods.
5. It helps boost your child’s energy level
It sounds ridiculous, but some kids need an energy boost every now and then. Apart from nutrients mentioned above, milk also contains phosphorous, protein, vitamin A along with some B vitamins, which are all good for the little body. Milk improves your child’s vitamin intake, increasing their immune function and energy levels. If your kid doesn’t feel like drinking milk, homemade chocolate milk is a good option too.
Many people ditch milk for different reasons. If you are a vegetarian and you want your child to go vegan too, think twice before changing their eating plans. While you can ignore your health (you shouldn’t actually do it!), as a parent, you can’t neglect your child’s health. Consult your doctor to find out how much milk your child needs and make sure your little one meets their servings of dairy for the day. Does your child like milk?
Photo Credits: DIANA WHITE