The Right Dairy for Your Growing Child

January 4, 2017

There are many benefits of dairy for children that far outweighs our reliance on processed food and sugar, salt and fat, which could lead to obesity and diabetes. Even children without such issues need access to chemical-free, organic and biodynamic foods.

What’s more, as your child is growing right now, it’s important to get them to eat the right foods to support their growing bones and teeth, eyesight and other vital functions. One key area of nutrition lies in the importance of dairy foods in a child’s diet.

Researcher Malcolm Riley from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO) in Australia pointed out that “Dairy foods contain a package of essential nutrients including calcium for strong bones, protein for growth and development, riboflavin for eyesight, iodine for brain function and more”.

The CSIRO research also found that over 60% of children between the ages of two and 16 years did not meet the minimum dietary guidelines for dairy foods in Australia, despite being a country with relatively high dairy consumption (approximately 231 kilograms per person per year). In many Asian countries, including Singapore (whose average annual consumption is only 32 kilograms), the per capita consumption of dairy among children is observably lower.

Give Your Child Quality Dairy Products for Better Health

By giving your child the highest quality milk, yoghurt and low-fat cheese, you are ensuring that he/she gets the best possible start nutritionally.

Not all dairy products are of the same quality. It is important to avoid exposure to chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and artificially-introduced hormones. It is also advisable to avoid UHT (or long-life) milk, because the ultra-high temperatures used in the UHT process can destroy vitamins and produce a particular taste that your child might dislike.

It is not difficult to source high-quality organic and biodynamic dairy products from a reputable source. There are organic shops totally devoted to such products, or supermarkets that have sections reserved for such products.

If you prefer low fat versions of such foods, do source for them, as this helps in the management of total fat intake which can decrease the risk of associated obesity and chronic health conditions.

As not all school canteens provide such items, be sure to pack it for your child, although some portions may be eaten at dinnertime. Include an ice-pack if you are packing them into your child’s breakfast or lunch in our tropical climate. Know the amount of such dairy foods that children should consume of every day.

Article contributed by Brian Caswell, Dean of Research & Programme Development at MindChamps