Home > Get Ahead > Living > Health
Has your child drunk milk today?
Merril Diniz |
April 12, 2005
id you know many children give up healthy food like milk for sodas and sugary drinks as they grow up?
More important, this may adversely affect their health in the long term.
Parents must address this issue!
According to the Milk Processor Education Program study in the United States, calories consumed from milk (which includes flavoured milk), drop as children mature.
At the same time, calories from sodas and fruit drinks (which do not include juices) rose.
'Our study found that milk is a primary source of nutrients in a child's diet,' said Mary Murphy, who works at the Environ Health Sciences Institute, Arlington, adding, "But milk consumption steadily declines as children grow older, which may prevent older children and teenagers from consuming the nutrients they need for growth and development."
Here are some facts on the calories that milk provides for children over the years:
- Ages 2 to 5: 13 percent of daily calories.
- Ages 6 to 11: 9 percent.
- Ages 12 to 18: 6 to 7 percent.
Sugary drinks provide 7, 9 and 12 percent daily calories respectively for the above three age groups.
What does milk do?
Milk is the leading source of calcium and other nutrients (phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium) for all age groups.
By sidelining milk, older children and teens could fall short in these nutrients.
As for the calories in sodas and fruit drinks, they have little to offer in terms of nutrition.
Dietician Bijal Goradia says milk is better than aerated beverages for various reasons. Here are some:
1. 100 ml of milk contains between 100 and 130 calories depending on the type of milk used, ie toned, skimmed, etc. On the other hand, 100 ml of an aerated drink contains approximately 175 calories.
2. Milk contains:
- Calcium, which is good for the bones.
- Zinc, which is good for the hair and bones.
- Protein content.
Aerated drinks have no nutritional value.
3. Canned juices contain preservatives, which is why the taste is always different as compared to a fresh juice.
Preservatives are not good for health because they cause water retention and kill the basic nature of the nutrients.
How much milk a day?
Goradia says you must drink one cup of milk per day.
You can have it for breakfast or before going to bed.
You could enhance the taste of milk by tossing in a few pieces of ginger and some masala.
If you have trouble sleeping, drink this mixture before going to bed -- it helps soothe the nervous system and beckons sweet slumber.
Don't like milk? Why not try a cup of yogurt, buttermilk or homemade paneer?
With inputs from ANI