Cow milk is a superfood for your kids, as it is rich in protein and calcium. It is also preferred over other forms, as it has higher water content, making it lighter and easier for children to digest. Because of its many health benefits, a diet plan for children should include cow’s milk. It is important to note, however, that cow’s milk should not be given to children below the age of 1 year, as an alternative to formula or breast milk. This is because to digest cow’s milk, infants do not have the required enzyme lactase.
So let us discover the tremendous health benefits of cow’s milk and how to introduce it to your kids.
1. Good for growth
Cow’s milk is specially formulated to help the calves develop rapidly. The growth hormone present in the cow milk will help in the overall physical growth of your baby. Calcium present in cow’s milk helps kids grow strong bones as well. Vitamin D is added to most fortified milk. In young children, vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium and prevents rickets. When they are much older, the stronger bones they develop at this age may also avoid osteoporosis. In case you are looking for a wholesome diet plan for your kid’s overall growth, you can always reach out to an online specialist doctor.
2. Strengthens teeth and bones
In milk, there are minerals like phosphorus and calcium which are good for the teeth and bones of your child. Besides, casein in milk forms a thin layer around the teeth and protects them from the acids present in food. This protective layer prevents the acid from leaching out the calcium and phosphorous in the tooth, which can otherwise cause cavities.
3. Enhances Brain development
Cow’s milk is rich in vitamin B complex, which is important for the brain cells, nervous system, and for controlling the sleep cycle. Babies between the age of 1 to 2 years, should be given whole milk. This means that you should not consider variations such as toned or double toned milk for babies, as the healthy fat in the milk is essential for neuron growth. Neurons are brain cells with a fatty coating over their dendrites or nerve endings branching out, which are in contact with the next nerve cell. This is why it is important to include sufficient healthy fats in your child’s diet.
4. Enhances Immunity
Vitamin A is important for building immune function, cellular growth, and vision in small children. Milk helps in the formation of retinol, which is a preformed vitamin. A low intake of vitamin A can decrease the ability of a child to combat infections. It is necessary to add milk to your child’s diet before they start pre-school as they will be exposed to various germs in their new surroundings. Hence a robust immune system is handy when they first step out of their house. It’s also advisable to talk to a specialist doctor to find out about ways to increase your child’s immunity. If time is a constraint, then you can also consult a doctor online.
5. Keeps the heart, healthy
Magnesium and potassium are essential minerals in milk that act as vasodilators, pumping blood to all organs via the blood vessels. Calcium in milk also helps to develop stronger heart muscles and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Now that we know the benefits of cow’s milk, let’s find out how to introduce it to your children.
-Cow’s milk should only be introduced to children once they are 1 year old. Some parents are concerned about cow’s milk, as sometimes it may lead to intolerance to lactose. So start by feeding your child a little at a time, to make sure your child is ready for milk. If there is no immediate reaction, give up to 2 cups of cow’s milk a day.
-Make sure that the milk is not boiled for too long, as overboiled milk, loses most of the nutrients. Milk can be an inhibitor of iron absorption. That’s why it is best not to serve milk and food which is rich in iron, during the same meal.
-Children between the age of 3 and 5 can consume up to 700 ml of milk daily. Apart from milk, you can also introduce your children to milk-based products like paneer, cheese, and yogurt. Switching between various food preparations will stop your child from getting sick of milk and getting fussy about drinking it. But make sure if you add any of the above milk products to your child’s diet, you also reduce the quantity of the milk he consumes on that day.
Milk is one of the healthiest foods that your child’s diet can contain. However, if you want to get an expert’s advice, it’s important to consult a qualified pediatrician. These days, you can get consultation from the best online doctor, by staying at home and using the services of an online teleconsultation App.