Doctors emphasize that both cow’s milk and the rest of dairy products constitute a complete and balanced group of foods for young children as well as adults and senior citizens. The cow’s milk constituted for decades one of the most valued products for feeding children.
However, in recent years many voices have been raised to point out alleged risks and problems derived from its consumption. This article refers to the relationship between cow’s milk and minors, what are the benefits of its intake, what amounts are recommended for different stages of development.
Cow’s Milk and Children
The cow’s milk provides many benefits to children. It is contraindicated during the first 12 months of life, but, after they are one year old, healthy minors can drink cow’s milk without any problem and in this way, take advantage of its nutrients.
Organizations recommend that, if possible, breastfeeding be the exclusive feeding of the baby during its first semester of life and, then, extend it at least until the year. During the second semester, although the little ones should not drink cow’s milk yet, they can begin to ingest dairy products and products that include cow’s milk proteins, provided the allergic risk is low.
What Benefits does Cow’s Milk have for Children?
Milk is one of the main sources of calcium, the most abundant mineral in the human body, fundamental in the formation of bones and teeth. And not only that, the consumption of milk and milk derivatives improves the overall quality of the diet, especially calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and D, riboflavin and folate.
Cow’s milk and its derivatives are not the only possible sources of calcium. Also fish, egg yolks, vegetables such as spinach and green beans, legumes, cereals and nuts make important contributions in this regard. But few of these foods outperform dairy, because they offer a high content of nutrients in relation to the caloric content. And, in addition, other foods in general are much more difficult to give young children than milk.
How Much Cow’s Milk Should Children Drink?
It is recommended to take two daily servings of milk and dairy products during early childhood; between two and three, for school-age children; and between three and four, for adolescents. How much is a daily ration? It is equivalent to between 200 and 250 milliliters (ml) of milk or 125 ml of yogurt or a piece of between 40 and 50 grams of cured cheese.
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