Milk Myth, do kids really need milk?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on August 13, 2010 0 Comments

Britain’s Health Minister, Ann Milton, recently suggested that the government scrap her nation’s free milk for children under five projects labeling the program too expensive and ineffective. Ms. Milton believes the better plan for this £50m project is to give low income families additional food vouchers not just for milk, but for fresh fruits and vegetables. Her nation’s leaders disagree and have rejected Ms. Milton’s idea, avoiding any possible projection of being smeared as baby milk snatchers.  

The idea that cow’s milk is an essential part of a healthy child’s diet is so engrained in the thought processes of most Europeans and North Americans that any hint of a non-dairy existence is greeted with sneers and jeers equal to that of the Grinch on Christmas day, but do children really need cow’s milk?  

The majority of nutritional experts still claim milk consumption is necessary for children to get enough calcium, essential vitamins, and protein for proper growth and brain development, but there are many other natural food sources and enriched foods that offer all of these factors. Leafy greens, seafood, tofu, and nuts are all great natural sources of calcium, while calcium fortified foods are also readily available like breakfast cereals, orange juice, and breads.  

 Milk is also high in fat and calories which you rarely hear about in all those overly adorable Got Milk? advertisements pushing the benefits of all that bovine juice, yet childhood obesity remains a prominent problem in both Britain and the United States. Calcium and vitamin D enriched soy and rice milks could be substituted as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk.  

Robert Heaney, a leading calcium scientist and inveterate dairy booster, states “The sheer quantity of calcium in dairy products certainly makes them attractive sources, but they have no monopoly on calcium. There’s no reason in the world why you couldn’t get an adequate intake from a vegetable source.” [ Aquarian online ]  

According to research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center published in Science Daily in December 2007, milk and egg allergies now appear to be more persistent [in the general population] and harder to outgrow [ allergic child.com ]  

Evidence is mounting that the need for human beings to consume cow’s milk may indeed be a myth. It may be that what is really needed is better nutrional education for parents and kids and the availability of quality foods for families across all economic standings. Add sunshine, clean air, exercise, and a world fortified with love and peace and we may be on our way to Got Health?  

 Do you think milk is a key ingredient in healthy kids or is it just a myth?

© 2010 Kiki Dahlke

Source: BBC News

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Throughout history, redheads have been feared and revered, loathed and adored, degraded and exalted. Not much has changed...As my dad would say...people either love you or hate you, no in between.

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