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I’m so happy to be partnered with the National Milk Life’s Back-to-School program this month and to share with you why milk is the rockstar of all beverages! Growing up, I have so many fond memories about milk-from mixing up my chocolate milk after school to dunking my cookies in it for a a late night snack in college. And now I’m doing those same things with my kids too! In these next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing why we love milk, some things you may not know about it, the benefits of drinking milk, and how you can get your kids drinking it.
Over the past few years, we’ve had people trying to convince us why we shouldn’t be drinking milk. I always thought it seemed strange and their claims never added up for me. After doing my own research, and from learning from a registered dietician and many studies, here are four things that you may not know about Milk. I’ll also include some tips on how you can incorporate milk into your back-t0-school routines.
All of these facts are from registered dietician Holly Grainger, The American Academy of Pediatrics, MilkPep, and MilkTruth.com.
1. Milk is a TOP Food Source!
Milk is needed by people of all ages, not just children. In fact, it’s recommended that children aged 9 and older, including adults, need three 8 oz servings of milk a day. It’s recommended that children 8 and younger get two 8 oz servings a day.
No matter what kind you choose-whole, 2%, 1%, or skim, all milk provides 9 essential nutrients, including 3 that are lacking in our diets today-Potassium, Calcium, and Vitamin D. These 3 nutrients are especially important for growing children and milk is a top food source for them. Without drinking milk, it’s actually difficult for children to get the nutrients they need!
I didn’t ever think about this, but did you know that drinks contribute greatly to our consumption of nutrients and calories? And that’s especially true for children. My toddler drinks more than he eats and I’ve found that it’s important to regulate what beverages he chooses.
2. Milk Provides High Quality Protein That’s Affordable!
We continually here from studies and experts about the importance of protein in our diets no matter what our age. But it can be hard to fit protein in sometimes because things like meat and fish can be expensive.
Thankfully, milk provides high quality protein that our diets need and it’s much more budget friendly. In comparison to other sources of protein, milk comes out to just 25 cents a glass!
It provides 8 grams of protein in one 8 oz glass. Protein is needed at every meal in order to maximize its benefits, so be sure your kids are fitting it in throughout the day.
The most important meal is breakfast, however. Having a good source of protein at breakfast gives kids more energy and helps them stay more full throughout the day. There are many ways to incorporate a serving of milk into your breakfast routine. Here are some of our tried and true methods:
*A bowl of cereal. My kiddos LOVE Honey Nut Cheerios, especially our toddler.
*Banana Chocolate Shake-mix up some chocolate milk with a banana and a little vanilla yogurt.
*A bowl of oatmeal with milk, brown sugar, and a little cinnamon. This is a staple in our family!
3. Milk IS Wholesome and Safe!
The milk that we get at the store actually goes through several tests before it ever reaches a consumer. It is the most regulated product of any by the FDA. It is tested for antibiotics at several points along the way, and, if it tests positive, it is thrown out. In 2014, only 0.014% of all milk on farms tested positive and it never reached store shelves.
4. Milk Cannot Easily Be Replaced
Decades of research have shown how valuable milk is, especially at providing those 9 essential nutrients including Potassium, Calcium, and Vitamin D.
For example, if you were to compare milk to vanilla almond milk, here are 3 key differences between the two.
First, milk has 8 grams of protein compared to 1 gram of protein in almond milk in an 8 oz serving. That’s 8 times more!
Second, if you were to look at the ingredient list, milk has a short list while the almond milk has more than 10. I didn’t used to look at labels as much, but I have been recently and it’s amazing to see the ingredients in the products that we consume. There are syrups, additives, and plenty of things that I don’t understand. I’d rather have something I know is real!
Third, it has no added sugar. The sugar in milk is naturally occurring (called lactose). On the other hand, the almond milk, along with most other plant based milk replacement drinks, does have added sugar. I’d much rather go with the choice that has no extra added sugar.
Along those lines, if you’re kiddos enjoy flavored or chocolate milk more than regular, they are just fine to keep on enjoying it. Studies have shown that children don’t consume any more added sugar in their diet when drinking flavored milk and actually drink more overall. So when compared to the benefits they are receiving by drinking the recommended amount of milk, the amount of sugar they are consuming is minor overall.
Now that I’ve shown you all the benefits of milk, which of these tips did you find the most important for your family? Leave a comment below and I’ll choose two winners to receive a month’s worth of milk!
Winners will be chosen on October 28, 2015 at 10 pm MST. Winners will each receive a gift card valued at $18.
I hope you learned as much as I did. Getting good nutrition into our diets is vital and something I am passionate about!
For more information, visit MilkTruth.com.