Is It OK to Eat Milk?

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Milk is a high-quality food that provides easily digestible, high-quality protein, many vitamins, iodine and, above all, calcium. Your child needs calcium to build bones and teeth. That is why milk and dairy products should be on the menu every day.

How much milk should it be?

With around 300 to 330 ml of milk and dairy products a day, your 1 to 3 year old child is well looked after. This amount is best divided into two to three servings: for example, a small glass of milk for breakfast or in muesli, a small cup of yogurt in the afternoon and a cheese sandwich in the evening.

Tip: Your child can drink from the cup around their first birthday. Instead of the bottle with baby milk, offer him cow's milk in a glass. Do not fill the bottle with cow's milk, otherwise your child will quickly drink too much milk.

Which milk for the toddler?

Whether you use fresh milk, longer fresh milk (highly heated or ESL milk) or long-life milk is up to your personal taste and shopping habits. The milk tastes best on its own or as a milk mix with fresh fruits. Cocoa made from commercially available powdered drinks is almost always very sweet.

Recipe tip:Ingredients for 1 child and 1 adult serving

  • 150 g seasonal fruit (e.g. strawberries, blueberries)
  • 200 ml of cold milk
  • 100 g yogurt

Put the berries, milk and yoghurt in a tall container, finely puree with the hand blender and drink from the cup. Tip: Half a banana sweetens and makes the milk nice and creamy.

Special children's milk is not necessary. It has no health advantage for your child's development and is comparatively expensive. It is significantly sweeter than milk, is often flavored and can cause your child to get used to the special, sweet taste.

My child doesn't like to drink milk ...

At around one year old, your child can not only tolerate milk, but also yoghurt, quark, soured milk or cheese. It is best to take “white goods” (natural products) without additives. Creamy sour milk products have a mild taste and are particularly popular. If you want a change in taste, stir in seasonal fruits, pureed fruit or a spoonful of jam. Ready-made fruit dairy products are often very sweet, contain flavors and only a negligible amount of fruit.

Tip: 100 g yoghurt, sour milk or quark contain as much calcium as 100 ml milk. Vary the offer.

Those who don't like milk can often be won over with cheese - on bread, in sauces or casseroles. Cream cheese, mild butter cheese, Edam, young Gouda cheese or mozzarella (made from pasteurized milk) are the frontrunners among the little ones. Feel free to let your child try other varieties to train their taste. Cheese contains a lot of fat and salt, so there is not an unlimited amount of it. Just 15 g of hard cheese or 30 g of soft cheese can replace 100 ml of milk.

Important: Dairy products can contain germs. As a precaution, you should not give your toddler raw milk soft cheese, such as some types of Brie or Camembert and Roquefort or cheese with red or white smear. Raw milk must also be boiled before consumption.

Are special children's milk products useful?

They are small, colorful, are offered in special shapes or squeeze bags and can be found in the toddler range or refrigerated shelves. Visually, they appeal to children; advertising with additional minerals is aimed at parents. Viewed neutrally, these dairy products have no advantages over conventional dairy products. On the contrary, many children's milk products are very sweet and fatty and pollute the environment due to the complex packaging. Think of these products as candy rather than dairy.

Tip: Fill small, colorful cups with natural or self-mixed fruit yoghurt - children love that just as much.

When milk is to be avoided

"Alternatives to milk" such as soy, rice, oat or almond drinks are colloquially referred to as "milk" because of their milky appearance. However, they have a very different composition than cow's milk, are more processed and contain fewer nutrients - valuable protein is missing, the bone building material calcium is only contained in specially fortified products. Plant-based drinks or products made from them, such as yoghurt or cheese, can complement the menu, but are not an equivalent substitute for cow's milk.

Some children cannot tolerate dairy products because they are allergic to the protein in cow's milk or because they have trouble digesting the milk sugar (lactose) they contain. If your child is affected, please get a medical diagnosis and advice. A nutritionist trained in allergology can give you tips on which foods can replace milk.

Author: Sigrid Fellmeth
Photo: © komokvm - stock.adobe.com


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