Milk is considered to be parent’s best friend for a child’s growing up days. Especially in first few years of life, milk is considered as master food item for its multiple health benefits – stronger bones and teeth , brain development etc. There is no doubt that milk provides many benefits for children, but there are few myths about drinking milk which are extremely common so we must understand and know the truth..
Popular Myths About Drinking Milk :
Milk is a COMPLETE Food For Children : Milk lacks two very important nutrients for kids- Vitamin C and Iron. Without them, children could be prone to developing anaemia due to iron-deficiency. Lack of Vitamin C can also cause low immunity, and frequent cold and cough. We may often notice children fed with more milk and not other nutrients often get effected with Cough and cold.Though milk is very nutritious and essential for growing kids as it provides nutrients like calcium, protein, and minerals such as zinc but it is not right to take milk as a complete food thinking that it fulfils all the nutritional requirements of children. Never think that one glass of milk can substitute your child’s missing meals.Vitamin C and iron rich foods like Fruits, Veggies, Nuts and grains are needed in a right balance.
Best Breakfast for mornings is Only Milk : Most of the parents believe in Milk Breakfast for years. Mornings being busy and tight for mothers, for making kids ready for school and breakfast to be prepared for everyone. Many children dislike about food when they are toddlers or pre-schoolers, which tempt the parents to feed them with a glass of milk (perhaps with that malt/chocolate mix).
Experts say that a child needs carbohydrates, proteins and fruits for breakfast as it the most important and the first meal of the day. Milk alone doesn’t provide the glucose that our children need to get energetic in the morning. Children should be given a diet rich in fibre, carbohydrate and protein in the morning which can keep them active all day.
Feeding Babies with Extra Milk even when they are Breastfed : A very common but harmful myth people follow is feeding. babies with cow’s milk or formula milk even if they are being breastfed adequately. This is not at all recommended. Doctors strictly advise that mothers must NEVER introduce cow’s milk to a baby before 1 year of age. Doing so could even lead to type-1 diabetes and auto immune diseases. It also leads to colic, abdominal ailments.
Milk is the best Source of Calcium and makes teeth and bones stronger : Many parents have been growing with this myth. They believe that milk is the ultimate source of calcium for children and tend to ignore other important foods because of this belief.
Parents must understand that drinking milk alone does not protect our kids against fractures, or makes their bones stronger. It is recommended to also feed your child foods such as spinach and sweet potatoes, grains , nuts, greens, soyabean, kidney beans, legumes, pulses and these other foods for stronger bones.We must also remember that our kids need Vitamin D in order to absorb the calcium from food.
Milk is essential for kids of all Age groups : Milk plays a main role in a growing child’s diet but once child enters his preteens (after age 12), milk is no more mandatory. Milk is not the richest or purest source of calcium, and it might be sensitive to digestive system of many child.In few children, milk might lead to an inflammation in the gut, especially if the child is stressed, unwell, or is suffering from lactose intolerance. In such cases, it is fine if the milk servings are limited, in consultation with the paediatrician. Never worry that reduction in the amount of milk at this age will hamper your child’s development in any way.
Milk is essential but not a necessity. Feed your child well with a balanced diet and give two servings of milk a day. If he/ she dislikes milk or shows abdominal discomfort or other symptoms, you can feed them with plenty other foods that are more nutritious and healthy than milk.