Kids Need Their Milk

A report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reinforces that eating calcium-rich foods like milk during childhood years helps build strong bones and may prevent the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. The AAP also advocates that parents teach healthy habits by example and encourages pediatricians to regularly ensure that their patients are getting enough calcium from their diets.

The report indicates that most people can meet their calcium needs by consuming 3 servings of milk, flavored milk, cheese or yogurt each day, choosing lowfat varieties often. Seventy-two percent of dietary calcium in the U.S. food supply comes from milk and other dairy foods. In addition to calcium, milk is the number one source of several key nutrients in the American diet, including potassium, phosphorous and magnesium.

The statement also emphasizes a parent's role in demonstrating healthy habits and teaching by example. Parental role modeling, both in choosing nutrient-rich foods like milk and engaging in daily physical activity, is an important way to ensure that kids develop good eating and exercising habits early.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Optimizing bone health and calcium intakes of infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2006; 117 (2):578-585.