Do kids really have to drink milk? Milk nutrition facts

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Thursday, 19/05/2016 03:05

We've all heard the slogans about milk: It does a body good, it's a natural thing to drink and it builds strong bones. And many people who heard these slogans while growing up were urged to drink a few glasses of milk a day because of its health benefits. However, do kids really need to guzzle the white stuff? Just keep reading to find the answer and know more about milk products, brands, nutrition, calories, protein, milk brands, powdered, pasteurized milk. Drink facts

Do kids really need to drink milk? Milk nutrition facts

 Milk nutrition facts

Milk nutrition facts

It turns out the case for milk is fairly weak. Although milk is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, other food sources also provide these nutrients. What's more, there's no evidence that drinking milk reduces bone fractures, and drinking too much can lead to anemia and may contribute to obesity.

Do kids really need milk? No, of course they don't. Most people in the world do not drink milk after they are weaned from breast milk, and yet still get adequate nutrition.

Here is a look at the benefits and potential pitfalls of drinking milk.

The good

Most people have heard that the calcium in milk helps people grow strong bones. Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, a chemical typically synthesized by the skin when people spend time in sunlight, but which can be hard to get from the diet, as it is naturally found in only a few foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks and beef liver. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a disease in which people develop bent and weakened bones, and has also been tied to other problems, such as muscle and nerve ailments.

And milk is a rich source of protein and calories, which is important for growing kids. Malnutrition is still a problem, even among children in the developed world. Picky eaters may struggle to get enough protein and calories in their diets, and milk is an easy, nutrient-rich way to deliver those calories.

Calcium can be found in many other food sources besides milk, including nuts, beans and greens. The best way for kids to take good care of bones is to go outside and play.

Milk funny pictures

Milk funny pictures

The bad

Three-fourths of the world's population has lactose intolerance or cannot comfortably digest lactose, a sugar found in milk. Calcium can also inhibit the absorption of iron, which means drinking too much milk can lead to anemia.

The calorie-laden beverage could also promote obesity. Another problem is that filling up on milk can mean not eating other healthy foods on the plate, and this can be especially true of kids who are picky eaters.

If you actually feed a child three servings of cow milk, how are they going to have room for other healthy foods like those vegetables, legumes and lean proteins? The health benefits of drinking flavored milks are even more dubious.

An 8-ounce glass of low-fat chocolate milk has the same number of calories from sugar as an 8-ounce glass of Coke or Pepsi. Added sugar has been tied to a host of health problems, from obesity to diabetes to heart disease.

In the end, milk may not be a superfood, but it does provide valuable nutrients that can be hard to get into kids in other ways. Children seem to have good iron stores and vitamin D levels at around two glasses a day.

But if a kid simply hates the taste or has trouble digesting milk, parents don't have to push it. Instead, they can serve other foods to make sure their kids get the proper nutrition.

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Ryan Carter

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