Milk is the first food of your child. Milk is the best source of calcium and also contains protein, minerals and vitamins. Milk is one of the few sources of Vitamin D, which helps combating rickets and weakened nerve system. Consuming milk aids nerve and brain development. It is essential for developing strong bones and teeth. Tooth and gum decay are commonly seen in individuals who lack calcium and vitamin D.
- Why Do Children Hate Milk?
- How Much Calcium Does My Child Need?
- 10 Simple Ways To Make Milk Tastier For Children
- Alternatives Of Milk For Lactose Intolerant Kids
Why Do Children Hate Milk?
The first food of the child is breast-milk, but as a baby is transitioned from breast milk or formula to cow’s milk or from the bottle to a cup, many children start detesting the taste of milk. This obviously leaves the parents worried, and unless the child is lactose intolerant, they try to force their child to consume milk. However, forcing children is not going to solve the problem, and you will have to make milk more appealing, present a variety and find alternatives to serving plain milk. Milk may be termed as a ‘complete food’ yet, it is not readily guzzled by picky eaters. Be it the smell, color or taste, they can throw any tantrum at the sight of this white elixir.
How Much Calcium Does My Child Need?
Calcium needs of a child varies as per age, however, listed below is a standardized requirement:
- Children aged between 1 and 3 years have a daily requirement of 500 milligrams of calcium a day
- Children aged between 4-8 years need 800 milligrams of calcium a day
- Children aged between 9-19 years need 1300 milligrams of calcium a day
Just for information, 236.5 milliliters of milk contain about 300 milligrams of calcium and the same amount of yogurt contains about 400 milligrams of calcium
10 Simple Ways To Make Milk Tastier For Children
Kids can be really difficult to convince at times, and who wants to replay the same drama over and over again every day? To end your ‘milk time drinking’ struggle, below are a few tips to encourage your kids to down milk for a fuss-free happier life:
- Add flavor: This is probably your greatest tool ever! Find what your kid likes – chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mango, kesar-pista, almond etc. It’s best to alternate them. For instance, he may have chocolate milk in the morning and kesar-pista at night. Something different to look forward to, eh?
- Make cereals your path: Young kids enjoy slurping on chocolatey breakfast. Milk added to cereals well absorbs the flavor and lo! The remaining milk becomes yummy. Most kids finish off this milk too. So you may gradually increase the quantity of milk added to cereals
- Smoothies: Kid definitely love this ‘avatar’ of milk. Simply add fresh fruits to milk and make it thicker by including yogurt. Top it up with chocolate curls or sprinkles and you have a hungry kid satiated!
- Sneaking milk: You can add texture and make certain dishes creamier by simply adding milk. Try adding milk to scrambled egg, mashed potatoes and see the difference. You can also add milk instead of water while making pancakes and pasta. If you feed him oats, shun water, add milk and let your kid enjoy a richer, fuller breakfast
- Home-made milk lollies: Simply freeze milk shakes in ice tray or molds and stick in ice cream stick when they are mid-way. You can even prepare rose-flavored lollies by adding roohafza to milk or simply mixing Bournvita to milk and freezing them
- Froth: Kids love the milky froth on the top of their milk shake and drinks. You can invest in a milk frother, which is easily available in the market. You can enjoy your hot cuppa coffee too! Or simply blend milk shakes in the blender, making your kids feel they are enjoying outdoor
- Dunk: Instead of letting your kid adopt the habit of drinking tea/coffee or other beverages, serve MILK. The trick is to let them have the feel of sipping tea. Serve them cake or biscuit that can be dunked into milk. Saw the Oreo ad featuring Ranbir Kapoor? You can also introduce Weetabix – a smart cereal which melts into milk
- Make milk-based sweets: Indian cuisine has many sweet recipes utilizing milk. Serve kheer, seviyan, pudding or kulfi to your kid. Occasional sweet changes will leave your kid wanting more
- Hot or cold?: The problem could be as simple as that! Serving the milk at appropriate temperature can work wonders. Hot milk easily forms cream on top, which puts off many. Too cold milk may be hurting his sensitive teeth. Ask your kid, what he likes and this should help
- Catchy drinkware: Attractive sippy cups or thermal color changing mugs – let your kid purchase the one he likes. New things always entice kids to use it more, in this case, its drinking milk, yay!
Needless to say, to make these tricks work effectively you will have to be a role model yourself. A parent who makes excuses to drink milk cannot expect otherwise from the kids. Remember that, calcium obtained from milk requires Vitamin D for its absorption by the body. So expose your kid to ample sunshine, and welcome them back with a yummy drink or dish made in milk!
Alternatives Of Milk For Lactose Intolerant Kids
The above suggestions would be useless to you if your child is lactose intolerant. However, he still needs calcium! You could use the below non-milk products to ensure your child is getting optimum calcium.
- Calcium fortified juices and soy milk
- Spinach,Bok Choy and other green and leafy vegetables
- Beans and legumes
- Almonds and sesame seeds
Lastly, it’s worth sitting down with your kid to drink milk at night. Add a dash of chocolate syrup or saffron, whatever your kid likes and enjoy your kid’s conversation sipping on milk. It not only strengthens the mother-child bond, but your kid knows that you are drinking the same milk – and then you both can make faces together!