I had a friend ask me the other day about how to get her toddler to drink more milk. Every time she offered him a glass, he was uninterested, but she knew how important it is for his health and development. Smart mom!
As a registered dietitian and a mom, I understand both the importance of nutrient-rich foods in a child’s diet and the struggles that sometimes come with including them in the menu. Children need a variety of foods to support their growing bodies and minds and milk is an important part of a child’s diet because it provides 9 essential nutrients, including calcium, protein & vitamin D.
Don’t know how much milk your child needs? According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children 2 to 3 years old need 2 servings of dairy each day, ages 4 to 8 years old need 2 ½ servings and 9 years and older need 3 servings every day.
Here are my top tips that will help your little one sport a milk mustache in no time!
Sip It Up with Fun
What drink isn’t more fun with a silly straw or in wacky cup? Try offering your child a glass of milk in a cup with their favorite character or sport on it, or serve ice-cold milk with a crazy, wacky straw. The sillier, the better with kids!
Box It Up
Shelf-stable milk is great option for families on the go. Small, individual boxes of flavored milk and white milk are a hit with both kids and adults. Throw one in your child’s lunch box or after school sport’s bag for a delicious and nutritious surprise.
Think Outside the Glass
Milk is more than just a beverage—it makes a wonderful addition to any recipe. Boost the nutrition of soups, puddings, sauces and more by adding milk. Get inspiration from our dairy recipes.
Sometimes it’s hard to get our kids to eat the way we’d like them to, but with these tips, you can be on your way to stress-free meal time!
Do you have a favorite tip or trick to help your children eat healthy? Share with us by tweeting to @TheDairyRD.
By: Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD