Worried because your child frowns his face at the very sight of the milk cup? As a parent, you understand how crucial calcium is for healthy development of bones and teeth, and that skipped glass of milk will leave you genuinely concerned.
Why Is Milk Important?
Milk is a vital element in a child’s diet as it is rich in vitamin D, calcium, proteins and other nutrients. For a growing child, calcium is very essential to build strong bones and teeth. Packed with important nutrients, it is important that your child consumes milk daily for proper and overall development. Children aged between 1 and 3 years have a daily requirement of 500 milligrams of calcium and those in the age group 4-8 years need 800 milligrams of calcium a day.
Many children gulp down the glass of milk at a go and to the last drop, some however, dismiss milk straightaway. A lot of children create a great deal of fuss over drinking milk, and in case your’s is one – well, welcome to the group; you are not the only one who has this problem. Kids often throw tantrums to finish their milk.
But My Child Hates Milk!
Just so that you know, 236 mL of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium and the same amount of yogurt contains about 400 mg of calcium. A majority of people depend upon on milk and milk products to meet their daily calcium requirements. But if your child doesn’t like the taste of milk or is allergic to milk and milk products, there are many ways to boost calcium intake and avoid that struggle over drinking milk. At the end, you need to make sure he has met his daily requirement.
Some tips to encourage your child to finish milk.
• Choice:- Give him the right to choose- whether he wants white milk or coloured milk (chocolate or strawberry). You can always control the amount of flavour to be added.
• Appeal:- Serve milk in his favourite cup or mug with funny and attractive straws. Bottles with cartoon characters also multiplies the appeal.
• Divide:- Do not give too much milk at once. Give in small quantities twice or thrice a day.
• Alternatives:- If he does not like drinking milk, offer other alternative by adding milk in cereals, since they have a huge variety and flavours available.
• Be A Role Model:- Drink milk yourself, watching you have it he will be encouraged to have it too.
• Fun and Games:- Have milk together and play games like long . Offer a treat if he finishes milk earlier than you.
• Milk Shakes:- Add fresh and seasonal fruits to milk and make various shakes like mango, banana, chikoo, strawberry. Your child will enjoy this and definitely ask for more.
• Yoghurt:- Make curds from fresh milk at home. If your child likes it savoury add salt and cumin powder if not add fruit pulps in it to make fruit yoghurt. Buttermilk is another healthy option which is good for the digestive system.
• Ice-creams:- Who doesn’t like it? Kids tend to fuss over milk more during vacations. So, why not make ice-creams in flavours that are tempting and colourful? Search for recipes over the internet for home-made ice creams.
• Set Examples: – You need to tell him if he wants to be strong like his dad or any cousin he looks up to he has to drink milk, they did the same and so are strong and healthy and can fight with anyone.
• Smoothies: – Blend in fruits to make healthy smoothies.
If your child is allergic to milk or is lactose intolerant, you will have to use alternate ways to furnish his body with required doses of calcium. Some alternate sources of calcium:
• Calcium fortified juices.
• Calcium fortified soy milk.
• Vegetables like beans, broccoli, and spinach.
• Canned Fish with bones.
• Nuts and seeds.
Next time when your child is making faces at the sight of milk try the above tips and be assured that your child’s requirement is fulfilled. And if he is allergic to milk, add up his calcium intake and see if he is getting enough.