Milk…it does the body good….in the right amount!
Milk…it does the body good, in the right amount! 16 oz a day is what your young child needs!
When your child is an infant, you are asked how nursing is progressing, how many times a day your baby nurses, or how many ounces of formula a day your baby drinks. Your baby’s main nutrition in the first year is from breast milk or formula! The first year flies by and then you are hearing….introduce cow’s milk in a cup and don’t let your child “drink too many calories”. Wow what a difference a year makes and what happened to the age-old advice to “drink all of your milk”?
During the toddler years your child should be consuming healthy calories through eating solid foods and drinking some milk. Full fat milk is usually recommended until age 2, unless your child is overweight or there is a strong history of heart disease in the family. After age 2 your child should transition to 1% or skim milk to decrease fat intake. After infancy, your child’s diet should not center on milk, it becomes complimentary to your child’s diet. So how much milk does the typical young child need?
A recent study published in the January 2013 issue of Pediatrics shows that two cups (16 oz) of cow’s milk a day is probably about perfect. Two cups a day provided an adequate amount of vitamin D for most children and maintained good iron stores too. Milk is fortified with vitamin D and is an easy and convenient source of vitamin D and calcium for most children. However, too much milk consumption can lower iron stores in children. Milk has no iron and if a child drinks too much, he or she may consume less iron rich foods, and the increase in calcium will prevent the absorption of iron in the body. Children who drink too much milk often will become anemic (low iron) which can have a detrimental effect on learning and development.
So, it is important that children have vitamin D fortified dairy in their diet, but just not too much! Two cups a day seems to be the perfect balance for vitamin D intake and to maintain iron levels. So…milk does do the body good, but in the right amount!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.
the right amount!