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MY KID DOESN’T DRINK MILK
QMy five-year-old detests milk, but is OK with cheese and yogurt. Are these dairy products as good a source of calcium as milk? I’m worried that if he stops drinking milk, he won’t get enough nutrients.
ACheese and yogurt are equally good sources of calcium. In fact, a cup of yogurt has 450mg of calcium versus a cup of milk, which has 300mg. However, keep in mind that a lot of children who don’t like milk are often sensitive to lactose and giving them dairy products to compensate for their calcium intake might not be the best thing to do. If your child’s gut is sensitive to lactose and you still keep giving him dairy products, his gut will becomes inflamed, which will cause a host of other issues including stomach cramps, lethargy, indigestion and weight gain. Including spinach, almonds, salmon and green vegetables in their diet and increasing the amount of protein intake can help increase calcium content without the need for dairy.
If your child does not suffer from lactose intolerance, then you can consider giving him organic, whole, full-fat dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt. Any dairy product that says low-fat or fat-free is too processed and does not have natural vitamins A,D, E and K, which are extremely essential.
Going organic with dairy is an absolute must because you don’t want hormones and antibiotics entering your son’s system. You should arrange a blood test to check his Vitamin D level – if it’s too low, only 25 per cent of all the calcium you give him will actually reach his bones. The rest will be excreted from the system naturally.
Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist and inch-loss expert