Healthy Food Choices for Your Child – Debunking the “milk myth.”
Many of us were raised on dairy products and our mothers were told, and believed, that milk is nature’s perfect food. Research, however, is showing that this isn’t the case. The idea that milk and dairy products are good for you and the key source of calcium in a healthy diet is actually a myth.
Some Key Milk Myths:
- “Milk is “nature’s perfect food.”
Cow’s milk might be ideal for baby cows, but not for humans. Did you know that more than 60 percent of people are lactose intolerant, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like upset tummy, cramping, and bloating. Regular consumption of dairy products has even been linked to different cancers.
- “Milk builds strong bones”
Strong bones come from adequate exercise and calcium-rich foods. Did you know that plant-based alternatives such as almond milk, soymilk and rice milk can easily provide your child’s daily requirements for calcium? You can find sweetened, unsweetened and even flavoured plant milk, puddings and more.
- “Kids need milk to be healthy”
After babies are weaned from breast milk or formula, they do not need any type of milk to be healthy. Milk consumption during childhood has even been linked to colic and type 1 diabetes. That chronic runny nose, recurrent ear infection or dark circles under the eyes? These often come from consuming dairy products.
Are you concerned that something might happen if your child stops ingesting dairy products? Its true, something will happen and it is for the better. Children’s health often improves when dairy is eliminated.
Set a goal. Eliminate dairy products from your child’s diet, substituting other calcium-rich foods for 6 weeks and take note if your child’s runny nose, upset tummy, ear infections and overall well-being improve. This can be the first step in creating a better nutritional plan for your child.