Milk of any Ilk Good for Kids
By Cheryl Dorschner Article published July 2, 2002
If kids don't end up with that tell-tale "milk mustache" when they devour their lunches at day camp, school or home, they may not be getting their daily requirement of calcium. But, popular ads to the contrary, the mustache needn’t be white pink or brown will do. Rachel Johnson, acting dean of CALS, says her recent study indicates that flavored milks give children the calcium they need in a form they'll actually drink, without adding extra fat and sugar to their diets.
Her research, published in May in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that children who consume flavored milk have higher calcium intakes than those who don't.
Researchers on the study evaluated data from the USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals to determine the typical beverage intake of 3,888 children (2,763 ages 5-11 and 1,125 ages 12-17). The results showed that children who drink flavored milk consume fewer nutrient-poor soft drinks and fruit drinks than their counterparts who don't drink flavored milk.
And "while many moms may be concerned that flavored milk will add to their child's added sugar intake, this study shows that flavored milk actually helps boost their overall calcium intake, without impacting their total added sugar intake," Johnson, the study’s lead author, said. "By encouraging flavored milk consumption, parents can help reverse the trend toward soft drink and fruit drink consumption, which are crowding out more nutritious beverages like milk and negatively impacting children's diet quality."
Beverage choices can play an important role in the overall quality of a child's diet, she added. According to a previous study by Johnson, children who included milk in their noontime meal were the only ones to achieve the recommended calcium intake for the day.
Government recommendations state that children ages 4-8 need 800 milligrams of calcium a day, or the equivalent of about three glasses of milk, while children ages 9-18 need 1,300 milligrams of calcium, or the equivalent of about four glasses of milk. In addition to calcium, milk provides eight essential nutrients, including vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
Read the original study at: Eat Right