Key nutrients found in milk (in addition to calcium) include protein, vitamin A and D, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B12. Research suggests that people who consume enough milk are more likely to meet their overall nutrient needs, which is vital in the development of children. Yet many Canadian children (and adults) do not get enough servings from the Milk & Alternatives food group. Consider the below statistics:
- More than one in three children ages 4-9 consume less than two daily servings of milk products.
- By ages 10 to 16, about six out of ten boys and eight out of ten girls consume less than three daily servings of milk products.
How many servings of milk and milk alternatives does a family need?
|Age||Number of Servings*|
*1 serving from the Milk & Alternatives food group is equivalent to 1 cup (250 mL) of milk or fortified soy beverage, ¾ cup (175 g) of yogurt and 1.5 oz (50 g) of cheese.
Helpful tips on how to feature more milk in your daily preparation of meals!
- Serve milk with meals instead of juice or pop.
- Make cooking a family affair! Prepare meals and snacks with your child that use milk or other dairy products as an ingredient. Children are more likely to eat what you are serving if they are involved in the preparation. For example:
- Use yogurt as a dip, garnish, spread or dressing.
- Make soups and cooked cereals with milk instead of water.
- Add cheese to salads and sandwiches.
- Offer milk-based desserts such as yogurt, custards and puddings.
Worried about lactose intolerance? Good news! You don’t need to eliminate milk from your diet. Check answers to the most commonly asked questions in our Lactose Intolerance Summary.
Written by Rola Zahr, MPH, RD