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Since I was a kid, I was taught this one golden rule about food - milk is the best, absolutely the best. Yeah we need other things, but that one thing that must be a part of our daily diet no matter what is milk. And consuming milk is not enough, it is important that milk is drunk at least three times a day, the more the better.
So it was obvious that when I became a mother, I started fussing over my daughter’s intake of milk. I always felt that she isn’t drinking enough. So I started supplementing with curd and cheese, but still I continuously felt that my daughter should be gulping down glasses of milk. Ultimately, I shared my concerns with her paediatrician and what I was advised back shocked me.
2 cups of milk (1 cup = 8 ounces) is good enough for kids of almost all ages.
Milk is a good source for many important things that a growing child needs. Be it protein or calcium or Vitamin D. However, it is not the only source for these nutrients. I was surprised to know that most people in the world stop drinking milk once they are weaned off from breast milk. And yet the nutritional requirements of their body are satisfactorily met.
This was not a case against milk; instead it was a case against giving too much importance to milk.
The Goodness of Milk
Milk is an excellent source of calcium and protein which the growing body of children require. Often milk is fortified with Vitamin D which is hard to get from the diet, especially for vegetarians. All this goodness and the fact that milk is probably one of the easiest food to consume, is why I like the idea of giving glassful milk to my daughter.
The Overhyped Milk
Though milk is good for the bones, there is no evidence that directly relates drinking milk to reduce chances of bone fractures. On the contrary, in a study published in JAMA Paediatrics in 2013, suggests that countries with lower milk consumption among children are actually the countries with lower fracture rates. It is clear that our notion of high level of calcium essentially meaning stronger bones might not be that true.
The Case Against Too Much of Milk
Our body needs calcium; however, calcium inhibits absorption of iron. Drinking just enough quantity of milk will not harm in any way. But drinking too much of milk might lead to low iron level in the body. Over a period of time, such nutritional habit might lead to anaemia.
I agree that it is easier to feed milk to picky eaters than anything solid. However think of it this way, the more milk the child drinks, the less hungry the child would be to eat other nutrients that are just as important as calcium and protein. Every nutrient in the food pyramid is important in its own way and therefore, nutrients like vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates cannot be neglected for milk.
So what I am trying to say is milk is an excellent food, but it is not a superfood. As my doctor suggested, my daughter needs 2 cups of milk in a day - not less than that and not more than that.
Even though 2 cups is not a lot, there are times when ensuring that my daughter drinks at least that becomes a struggle. For those times, I always have a pack of MooShake ready for her. There are so many good things that MooShake is laced with; a single pack of MooShake is like a powerhouse! And the flavours that it comes in, my daughter has never been able to say no to it!
Read my detailed review of MooShake here.