- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
"Got milk?" ask the ads. "Do you really need milk?" ask parents. There is a place for milk and dairy products in the American diet, as long as you choose the right kinds. Here are some questions you may have about milk for kids and grown-ups.
Why is milk so good for children? While cow's milk is really designed for baby cows rather than baby humans, it's a nutritional staple in the diet of many cultures. For children who are not lactose-intolerant or allergic to dairy products, milk is one-stop shopping for nutrition. It contains nearly all the basic nutrients that a growing child needs: fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals (except iron). While it is true that most of the nutrients in milk can be gotten easily from other sources, such as vegetables, legumes, and seafood, milk puts them all together in a convenient package. Realistically, children eat or drink dairy products in greater amounts and more consistently than other foods. While whole milk is not the only way to get calcium in a child's diet, it's the most practical way. Good luck serving your child a breakfast of calcium-rich broccoli, kale, and sardines. Specifically, these are the nutritional benefits of milk, per 8-ounce glass:
While milk isn't the perfect food, it still delivers a lot of nutrition in all its various forms, such as cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Besides, milk and dairy products are foods that kids will eat and drink willingly. Despite the bad press about milk, it has a lot of good nutritional things going for it.