Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Kids need more milk, experts say

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Milk does a kid's body good, according to a Penn State study concerning American children and their consumption of the dairy drink. Yet the only youngsters reportedly drinking enough milk are 2 and 3 year olds. All others are falling short on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's My Pyramid dairy recommendations which suggest two cups of milk for 1 to 3 year olds, two to three cups for 4 to 8 year olds, and three to four cups for 9 to 18 year olds.

Also noteworthy per the same study, published in the online Journal of Pediatrics, is that children are consuming more of the highest fat varieties of cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and dairy-based toppings. It's not smart to make up for missed calcium from milk by stocking up on high-fat dairy sources, says one researcher who notes these additional calories will only add to the current problem of childhood obesity. So stick to good old fashioned milk for your kids -- and make it low-fat while you're at it.

Although physicians once recommended that children receive whole milk during the first year of life, that recommendation has changed. Doctors now recommend baby formula if the child is not nursing. And for the second year of life, reduced-fat or fat-free milk is appropriate.

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