Milk gets a lot of love, doesn’t it? These days it seems like you can’t take your kids to the movies without catching a milk commercial during the previews. We’ve all heard the popular milk slogan “it does a body good!” at some point or another. A glass of the white stuff isn’t just refreshing—it’s also got plenty of good-for-you vitamin D and calcium (and is particularly delicious when mixed with chocolate). But when it comes to your kids, how much milk is enough? It’s a question that doctors hear a lot, according to a new report by the CBC. And researchers are now saying that preschoolers only need two cups of milk per day.
With all its health-boosting benefits, you’d think that parents would want to keep an endless supply of milk in the house. But studies have shown that drinking too much of the white stuff could lead to iron deficiency in small kids. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children set out to determine just how much cow’s milk is required to ensure that kids get enough vitamin D, while not putting them at risk for iron deficiency. After studying nearly 1,600 preschoolers, their research points to about two cups per day for children aged one to five.
“What we came up with is about 470 millilitres of cow’s milk is the balancing point. So it’s roughly two cups,” said pediatrician and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital Dr. Jonathon Maguire, in an interview with the Canadian Press. “This really gets to that, saying to parents that two cups of milk is a healthy amount of milk. You’re getting great benefit from vitamin D and your child’s not in harm’s way from being iron-deficient.”
Now that you know how much milk is healthy, the second issue is what kind of milk to give your children. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, 1% or 2% milk is appropriate after the age of two, while skim milk should not be offered until the age of five.
What do you think? Will this news change your family’s milk-drinking habits?