There are numerous health benefits of milk for kids, including its high nutritional content. However, getting children to drink milk might be tiresome for some parents. You might have to run after your child with a glass of milk, or your child might come with all the excuses to avoid drinking milk.
While trying to introduce cow’s milk into your child’s daily diet, you may wonder whether your child should drink buffalo milk, goat milk, or a milk substitute such as soy milk.
Read on to know about the health benefits of various milk sources and how much your child should drink.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Milk For Kids?
Drinking milk has many benefits for your kids. Not only do they give your kids strong and healthy bones, but they also aid in your kids’ overall growth and development. Drinking milk every day will also help your kids maintain overall good health. Here are some milk benefits for kids:
1. Milk Is Rich In Calcium:
Milk is one of the best sources of calcium that your kid can consume.
- It keeps your kid’s bones healthy and strong and prevents bone loss.
- It helps prevent headaches, and even migraine attacks that kids experience if they have a calcium deficiency.
- Calcium prevents childhood obesity. It will help your kid fight the flab, as it also helps to reduce unwanted fat from the body.
- Calcium is also extremely important for your kid’s dental health.
- The recommended amount of daily calcium helps blood clotting and your kid’s nerve signals also work in perfect condition.
- Calcium helps release hormones and other chemicals from your kid’s body.
- It will also help in properly squeezing and relaxing your kid’s muscles (1).
2. Vitamin D In Fortified Milk:
Vitamin D helps your kid’s body absorb calcium from various sources.
- Fortified milk contains decent amounts of Vitamin D.
- It helps to promote bone growth in your kid and will also reduce any chances of brittle bones, especially in later years.
- Vitamin D can help to reduce inflammation. It helps boost your kid’s immune system.
- Vitamin D deficiencies can escalate to various conditions like osteoporosis in later years or rickets during childhood (2).
3. Healthy Teeth:
Milk is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial to your kid’s dental health and tooth development.
- Calcium and phosphorus together help to maintain the health of your kid’s teeth.
- One of the most important proteins found in milk is casein. It helps to form a thin film on your kid’s teeth’s enamel surface and helps to prevent the loss of calcium and phosphate.
- It is especially helpful when your kid’s teeth may get exposed to the acids present in the mouth.
- Many dentists will recommend your kid should drink only milk in between meals, in addition to water. It is because drinking milk does not cause tooth decay (3).
4. Good For Blood Pressure Levels:
Drinking milk can help your kid’s blood pressure levels stay in check.
- According to studies, your kids should consume at least three portions of milk each day along with a healthy and balanced diet.
- Consuming milk along with a low salt diet keeps your kid’s blood pressure levels in check (4).
5. Helps Stay Hydrated:
Your kid should drink lots of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Drinking milk is a great way for your kid to stay hydrated.
- It is especially important for your kid to rehydrate after a strenuous workout or any stressful physical activity. Drinking milk helps your kid’s body recover after an exhausting exercise (5).
6. Healthy Bones:
- Milk is a rich source of calcium, which is good for developing strong bone structure in kids.
- Your little one can overcome complex bone ailments like osteoporosis by drinking a daily glass of milk.
- When your child suffers from calcium deficiency, she is at higher risk of experiencing bone fractures when injured.
7. Promotes Heart Health:
- The right amount of calcium reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases in kids.
- Researchers conclude that daily consumption of milk reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and heart diseases.
- Magnesium and potassium present in milk serve as vasodilators that regulate the blood supply to the vital organs.
- The peptides present in milk inhibit the synthesis of ACEs, which otherwise would increase the blood pressure level.
8. Supplies Vital Minerals And Vitamins:
- Milk contains healthy vitamins and minerals, which keeps your little one active, healthy and strong.
- The vitamins and minerals present in milk are great for your kid’s eyesight.
- Carbohydrates present in milk supplies adequate energy and prevent your kid from feeling lethargic or tired.
- Milk provides protein, which helps in your kid’s body repair and growth (1).
Nutritional Importance Of Milk For Kids:
Here is a complete list of vital nutrients present in milk, which helps in improving your kid’s health conditions naturally:
It helps in building healthy bones and teeth in kids and developing the bone mass.
Protein serves as the best source of energy. It also helps in building and repairing your kid’s muscle tissues.
It helps in strengthening the bones and generates the energy required to perform the basic activities.
It helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
5. Vitamin D:
It helps in improving the bone density.
6. Vitamin B12:
It helps in maintaining the healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue.
7. Vitamin A:
The nutrient improves your kid’s normal vision and skin health. It also helps to boost the immune system.
8. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2):
It helps in converting the food into energy.
It helps in metabolizing the sugars and fatty acids in your kid’s body (2).
How Much Milk Should Your Kid Drink Regularly?
The amount (or glasses) of milk your kid should drink daily primarily depends on several factors like age, height and whether she is lactose intolerant or not. Here we have discussed the appropriate quantity of milk that an average kid should consume on a regular basis:
Ages 1 to 2:
- As your kid reaches the age of 1 year, you can eventually introduce cow’s milk in her diet plan.
- Kids of the age group 1 and 2 years need a high-fat diet for healthy brain development. At this age, you can make your kid drink 32 ounces, or 4 cups of milk daily.
Ages 2 to 8:
- Kids of the age group 2 to 3 years should drink at least 2 cups of milk every day.
- Kids of age group 4 to 8 years can consume 2.5 cups of milk or intake other dairy substitutes.
Can You Substitute Milk With Other Dairy Products?
Milk and other dairy products are rich sources of calcium, protein and vital nutrients that are necessary for your kid’s growth and brain development. When your kid does not like to drink milk, you can include other calcium-rich dairy products in her diet. It can include soy milk, cottage cheese, regular cheese, and yogurt.
Best Milk For Kids:
Although most of the parents think that their child should only drink cow’s milk. But there are different varieties of milk and dairy products available in the markets that are quite safe for kids.
Here is a complete list of different milk variation, which your kid can consume safely:
- Organic Milk
- Whole Milk
- Low-fat Cow’s Milk
- Goat’s Milk
- Almond Milk
- Soy Milk
- Evaporated Milk
- Condensed Milk
- Rice Milk
Fun Ways To Include Milk In Your Kid’s Diet:
It is always difficult to get your kid to drink that glass of milk. No more worries. Try some of these tricks mentioned below to sneak in some milk in your kid’s diet:
1. Mask It Under A Different Flavor:
- Try out different flavors that you can add to your kid’s glass of milk. While chocolate may be a clear winner, try adding other new flavors like berries, vanilla, banana and more.
- To make it a little healthier, you can also try adding spices like cardamom, cinnamon or even ginger.
2. Sneak It In Smoothies:
Your kid may have a taste for yogurt smoothies, but try it out with milk too.
- Whip up a delicious smoothie with fruits that your kid may otherwise not like.
- Add a dollop of honey to give it a burst of taste and health.
3. Iced Milk:
Why not try making some delicious and healthy iced milk at home for your kid?
- Use milk as the main base and add whatever other ingredients you would wish to like. Make sure you whip it well to make it creamy and even frothy.
- Once done, put it in the fridge and let it chill. While serving, add some chopped fruits to add more taste and health.
4. Cereals And Oats:
Add some milk to your kid’s bowl of cereals and oats instead of the regular cereal.
- Add either hot or cold milk to your kid’s bowl of cereal.
- Add enough milk so that the oats or cereal submerges completely. Remember to get him to eat it quickly. Otherwise, the cereal may turn soggy, and your kid might not want to eat it anymore.
5. Add It In Pasta:
You can also use milk to make some delicious pasta in white sauce.
- Instead of using cream or cheese, try to make the pasta more interesting by adding milk. You can add butter and cheese if needed and also include a handful of chopped vegetables.
- All kids love pasta and your kid too will enjoy the delicious taste of pasta in white sauce, which sneaks into the milk.
Getting your kid to finish his glass of milk can be a struggle, so try these simple tricks. Milk is one of the healthiest drinks your kid can have, so make sure that you include some milk for kids daily diet. Tell us about how you include milk in your little angel’s diet. Leave a comment below.