Milk and its Health Benefits


It’s a tussle every morning between me and Aarav (yes, that’s my son) over milk. When I have to lure him into taking one big gulp or when he starts making excuses for not drinking it.

Since birth, milk has been an important part of our child’s diet. Baby’s first food- breast milk rich in fatty acids, lactose, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other important factors make up for the perfect infant food.


When kids switch to formula, which may not may be a very peaceful transition for few infants (as far as I remember, Aarav kept throwing up a lot), it manages to replenish the needs of the body accordingly. Milk is an excellent source of calcium and protein – two essential nutrients for our child’s growth and development. It is also rich in vitamin D, another important nutrient. Unless your child is lactose intolerant there seems to be no logical reason for striking off milk from your child’s diet. The last thing we mother’s want is our little one having some nutrient deficiency.

But how much of milk is good enough? I say, two glasses fit perfectly in our Indian upbringing system. One glass of milk in the morning and one maybe in the evening or before bedtime as the child wants. Warm milk tends to fill up the tummy and lets the child have a good night sleep.

Milk also helps in developing strong bones with its calcium content. So it prevents bone growth disorders and reduces risks of bone fractures. Even though there are other dairy products like cheese, yoghurt that have their own richness in nutrients; milk also contains phosphorous, protein, vitamin A along with some B vitamins, which are all good for the little body. This helps in building stronger teeth as well as boosts the energy level in kids.

Full -cream? Toned? Or skimmed milk? So I had trouble choosing which one is the best or rather suitable for my child when we switched from formula. As per my paediatrician, full cream or whole milk should be given till 2 years as it helps in developing the nerves and the brain. Though later I switched to toned milk and introduced other foods with moderate fats and carbohydrates. Unless the child has a weight problem, do not give skimmed milk.

I read recently, that too much milk is a bad thing. A recent study reported that children having more than three servings of milk in a day gained more weight over time- regardless of whole or skimmed milk. So parents, understand that milk sure is healthy, but does have the calories.

Introduce fun flavours to make milk interesting. Mango-shakes, roohafza milk, chocolate milk can be given if kids get bored of the routine. Corn flakes and oats also add flavour and can be introduced when they get older.

Every child goes through the “*I hate milk*” phase. But we all know its benefits; so mothers top up your patience levels.


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