Do you remember your grandmother or mother nagging you to drink your milk? Maybe they shared the same advice when you had a child. Payat, sakitin, matamlay? Give milk!
Experienced parents, doctors, health experts, and even government health agencies (remember the “Got Milk?” campaign?) agree that milk plays a big role in our child’s growth and nutrition. What are the benefits we can really get from milk? Why is it so important to encourage the milk-drinking habit?
1. You need to build up your child’s “bank of calcium”
We all know that milk is rich in calcium, which helps in making our child's bones and teeth stronger and healthier. It is also rich in essential minerals needed for better bone development.
The Australian Healthy Kids Association says, “Our bones can be seen as the ‘Bank of Calcium.’ If calcium is not deposited, it will be withdrawn from the bones to be used in other areas of the body. If this keeps happening, over time bones can become weak and brittle which may lead to osteoporosis.”
Calcium is especially important when our kids go through growth spurts, and we all know that this can happen in grade school and adolescence. That’s why kids never outgrow their need for milk; in fact, the faster they grow, the more milk they need!
2. Milk helps the eyes, muscles and nerves
Toddlers and pre-schoolers are learning at an exponential rate. They’re learning how to read and write, and how to get along with other kids, and develop their imagination and coordination when they play. Some of them may be discovering a love for sports, or mastering a musical instrument. These tasks all involve eyes, muscles, and nerves.
They need Vitamin A for good eyesight, Vitamin B for healthy red blood cells and verves, protein for energy and muscle repair. All of these nutrients can be found in one glass of milk.
3. Milk helps prevent childhood obesity
There are studies that children who drink milk maintain good body weight. That’s because high protein milk makes them feel more full, so they don’t ask for snacks or drinks that have a lot of sugar and fat, but no nutrients.
Compare a merienda of soda and chips, versus a merienda of milk and wholewheat pandesal with tuna and lettuce. They have a similar calorie count, but the latter is packed with protein, calcium, fiber, and micronutrients. It also has complex carbohydrates, which releases steady amounts of energy over a longer period of time. He has more energy to play and study, less mood swings, and more nutrients to help his body grow.
4. All-day hydration … and nutrition
Parents of active kids will agree that our kids sweat all day from constant jumping, crawling, and running! They need to take at least 8 glasses of fluids a day to avoid dehydration. Give them plenty of water, and healthy drinks like milk. It has more nutrients than soda, and can be served in many ways. Add fruits for a refreshing and filling smoothie, freeze into popsicles they can enjoy on a walk, pour over cereal or add to oatmeal for a quick breakfast, or serve with a cookie for a calming bedtime snack.
5. Promotes Good Heart Health
We “heart” milk for its heart-boosting benefits! The vitamin D, K and calcium in milk are beneficial for cardiovascular health. There are studies that dairy food lowers heart disease by 22%.
A glass of milk a day can help our child in so many ways. It boosts energy, fights disease, and helps their growth and development. It may not always be easy to develop the milk-drinking habit, but it’s one of the best gifts we can give our kids.
About The Writer
Mommy Gracie is a hands-on mom, small business owner and a mom blogger. She is a frugal and intentional living advocate, and believes that there’s joy in simplicity. She is also the founder of Tipid Living. Discover her tipid tips and other mommy hacks at www.tipidmommy.com.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.