Milk seems to be a staple in children's diets. Milk with breakfast cereal, milk with the school lunch and then a glass of milk at dinner seems to be the norm for growing children. And as moms, we know the importance of calcium in our kid's diets and have been feeling good about pouring that glass of milk from toddler to teen.
However, new research finds that toddlers should only drink up to two glasses of milk a day.
Health Benefits of Milk for Kids
Milk is a great source of many minerals and protein. It contains:
- Protein- for muscle growth and development
- Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium- for building strong bones and teeth
- Vitamin A- for improved sight
- Zinc- for the immune system
- B3 Niacin- for growth of skin and nerves
- B2 Riboflavin- for increased energy
- Potassium- to help reduce and control blood pressure
Iron, vitamin D and calcium are all crucial to healthy growth and development. So, why are we switching from three glasses of milk to two? Despite the benefits of milk, the newest research shows that higher levels of Vitamin D tend to lower the iron absorption rate for toddlers. Thus, the new recommendation for only two glasses of milk a day for kids.
New Study Says Milk Before Bed Leads to Obesity
But this isn't the first caviat about drinking too much milk. For children, milk has been given as a bedtime staple to nurture our children and put them safely to sleep. But, two-year-olds who are given a bottle of milk before bed are 30 percent more likely to be obese by the age of five and a half. So, skip the bottle of milk upon bedtime rituals to avoid a chunky child. Soothe them with a warm bath, night time story or a calming conversation instead of the bottle.
Milk for Adults
Don't throw away the tag line... "Milk it does the body good". The benefits of milk include cancer prevention. Men who drink at least 1.5 glasses of milk per day reported 35% lower risk of colorectal cancers than those who drank less than 2 glasses of mlk per week. Additionally, women found that those who drank milk over their lifetime had a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The thought about cancer prevention lies in the naturally occurring fat in dairy products known as Conjugated Linoleic Acid, as well as the Calcium components.
Bottom line: Milk can be part of a healthy diet for both toddlers and adults.
For more on kid's milk consumption and health and wellness tips, please visit Andrea Metcalf.