If you’re like most of us, chances are you grew up on milk.
“I remember my mom giving us, you know milk in your cereal. Milk on the lunch table, I remember the milk cartons and then at dinner we always had milk,” says Erin Gosser, mom.
Now a mom herself....
“This is Logan and he is 18 months old,” says Gosser.
Gosser is keeping with tradition.
“Logan drinks milk with every meal. So that’s 24 ounces total a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that’s whole milk,” says Gosser.
Over the years the subject has gotten a little milky. Once they’re out of infancy, do children need milk? If so, how much?
“Excellent question. Milk is required,” says Dr. Pierre Loredo, pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.
Over time the need for milk changes.
“The first year of life we would prefer you doing the natural feeds, but some kids take formulas as well. At year one- year two we want you to do whole milk. And our preference for whole milk is because there’s a good amount of lipids in that whole milk. Having those lipids will actually help out with the development processes,” says Dr. Loredo.
Milk has three things kids need: calcium, protein and vitamin D; all important for proper growth. But as kids get bigger, their milk intake should slim down.
“At age two through the rest of your life, we really would encourage you to have skim milk or very low percentage of fat in your milk because we worry about conditions long term with high lipids that could cause problems to the heart and brain,” says Dr. Loredo.
“So I think I’d switch it from whole to 1 or 2 percent, but I don’t see the reason to cut out milk,” says Gosser.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended 2 cups per day, or 16 ounces, for children between 2 and 8. Meaning tots like Logan should be sporting a milk mustache for years to come.