We all know that milk gives children strong and healthy bones and it aids overall growth and development. What other benefits do children get from taking milk? To celebrate World Milk Day 2020, let’s explore why children need milk.
What is milk made of?
According to the National Dairy Council, milk is filled with nine essential nutrients that benefit our health:
- Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass
- Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue
- Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Phosphorus: Helps strengthen bones and generate energy
- Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones
- Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
- Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids
- Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin
- Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy
What are the benefits of Milk to children?
1. It gives healthy bones and teeth
Milk is one of the best sources of calcium that children can consume. Calcium is essential for healthy, strong bones. It helps prevent headaches, and even migraine attacks that kids experience if they have a calcium deficiency. Calcium prevents childhood obesity. It helps to reduce unwanted fat from the body.
The recommended amount of daily calcium helps blood clotting and your kid’s nerve signals also work in perfect condition. Not only do young children need it while they are growing, they also need it as adults to keep their bones strong and prevent osteoporosis; a condition caused by the deficiency of vitamin D or calcium in the body.
Milk is also rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial to your kid’s dental health and tooth development. 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.
2. It aids glowing healthy skin
Milk has plenty of nutrients that keeps the skin in good condition. It contains lactic acid, which can act as an exfoliator, and the enzymes facilitate smooth skin. It also contains amino acids that help maintain skin moisture.
3. It improves muscle strength and acts as a stress reliever
The proteins contained in milk help to rebuild muscles. After exercise, it will help to keep any pain while replenishing fluids that you lost during your workout. Milk contains vitamins and minerals that act as stress relievers and energy boosters. Drinking a glass of warm milk can help to soothe muscles and nerve tension. Milk can help to revitalize your body after a stressful day
4. It helps children stay hydrated
Children should drink lots of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated and drinking milk is a great way to do this. It is especially important for your kid to re-hydrate after a strenuous workout or any stressful physical activity. Drinking milk helps your kid’s body recover after an exhausting exercise.
5. It protects children against diseases.
According to research led by professor Peter Elwood of Cardiff University, drinking milk can lessen the chances of dying from illnesses such as coronary heart disease and stroke by up to 15 to 20 percent.
This research—a systematic review of evidence from 324 published studies—is actually the first time that disease risk associated with drinking milk has been looked at in relation to deaths from those diseases.
However, there are conflicting studies that claim milk actually contributes to disease, specifically heart disease. “The fact that milk-drinking raises cholesterol is, for many people, proof that milk is a cause of heart disease,” Elwood says. “But cholesterol is only one mechanism in heart disease. Blood pressure is another relevant mechanism, and milk-drinking is associated with a lower blood pressure. It is therefore totally unreasonable to base conclusions about milk and heart disease on the effect on cholesterol alone.”
Heart disease isn’t the only thing that can be affected by milk. Elwood says that analysis of large, long-term studies shows that milk and dairy consumption are associated with a small reduction in death from heart disease events, strokes, new cases of type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and possibly bladder cancer.
“As heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer are major sources of healthcare expenditure, any measure that is associated with a reduction in these diseases—however small that reduction is—is also bound to have an impact on healthcare costs,” Elwood says.
How Much Milk Should Your Child 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.
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.
Milk is one of the healthiest drinks your child can have, so make sure that you include some milk for kids daily diet. You can include milk in your children’s daily diet by using it to make Smoothies, Milk shakes or Iced Milk and adding it to Cereals And Oats.
What other ways do you incorporate milk in your child’s diet? Share with us.