We all remember that infamous television advertisement from the early 90’s – “them bones, them bones need calcium!” This ad campaign was aimed directly at children in order to try and get them to drink more milk, and generally consume more dairy product – although it’s actually more likely to be remembered for the creepy wooden man dancing around on screen!
This ad sang the praises of a pint of milk to help strengthen your bones. But still, parents have asked “how much milk should I be giving my child?” Well, the latest research from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in conjunction with St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation has seemingly answered this query. And, the answer is: two cups of cow’s milk per day is all your child needs.
Cow’s milk has two very important nutrients – Vitamin D & Iron. The research team set out to discover exactly how consumption of milk affected the levels of these nutrients in the body. They soon found that those who consumed more than the two cups per day had higher Vitamin D, but surprisingly, had lower levels of Iron.
However, those children who stuck to the two cup a day routine were found to have adequate levels of Vitamin D, with no depletion in their Iron store levels whatsoever. It should be noted that the parents of each child had to complete a very extensive questionnaire pertaining to their child’s milk drinking routine, and to their lifestyle in general. This was carried out in order to eliminate any outside factors which may have been an issue with the levels of both the Vitamin D and Iron in the body. The children were also required to give a blood sample to ensure that the correct levels of each of the nutrients could be known prior to testing.
Vitamin D is very important for children’s bone health in particular, so having the levels correct is important to a child’s skeletal development. Deficiencies in iron have been linked to issues such as anaemia and cognitive developmental delays.
Therefore, based on this new research, it seems that drinking too much milk may not be as beneficial as was once thought. Having the right amount for your children will ensure peak levels of the nutrients required for proper bone growth, and mental development.
So, it seems that this age old question may finally be answered. And the research has shown that although milk is good for children, giving too much milk to your child will not be of benefit to them when it comes to the main nutritional components of the milk – Vitamin D & Iron.