Why Drinking Milk At Meals Can Help You Eat Better

How do you set your breakfast table for you and your kids? What is in everyone’s glass? It’s easy to eat better with balanced meals as well as  serve up good nutrition for both you and your kids when everyone at the table has an 8-ounce glass of milk, too.  

There’s good reason to add milk to your menu. Dairy milk offers a range of health benefits, backed by decades of research. Studies repeatedly show the many benefits of having two to three servings of milk or milk products a day. The nutrients in milk help to build and maintain bone strength, and has been found to boost muscle growth and support healthy weight. 

Serve Up 9 Essential Nutrients in Every Glass of Milk

Milk’s essential nutrients are an essential part of a healthy eating plan for both you and your kids. With each 8-ounce glass of milk you pour, everyone gets nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein. This simple beverage complements your meal in the simplest way. It increases the nutritional value not only at breakfast, but also for lunch, snack time and dinner, because every serving includes:

  • Bone-building nutrients, including calciumvitamin D and phosphorus
  • B vitamins (Riboflavin, B-12 and Niacin) for energy
  • Potassium to help regulate the balance of fluids in your body
  • Protein to help build and maintain lean muscle
  • Vitamin A for a healthy immune system

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans explains how many people miss out on the four nutrients of “public health concern”: calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber. Many Americans are not consuming enough of these four nutrients and not getting enough is linked to health concerns. Milk provides three of these four essential nutrients — another reason to serve a glass at every meal.

And that’s one way to eat better at mealtime.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend adults have three servings of dairy products, like milk, every day, and kids should get between two and three servings. Flavored milk counts as a serving of dairy and provides the same nine essential nutrients.

Age

Servings

2-3 years old

2

4-8 years old

2 1/2

9-18 years old

3

Milk’s nine essential nutrients can help kids and teens grow healthy and strong. An 8-ounce serving of milk, flavored or not, gives kids as much:

  • Protein as 1 1/2 medium eggs
  • Riboflavin as 1/4 cup of whole almonds
  • Niacin as 20 cherry tomatoes
  • Calcium of 10 cups of raw spinach
  • Phosphorus as 1 cup of canned kidney beans
  • Vitamin B-12 as 4 ounces of cooked turkey
  • Vitamin D as ¾ of an ounce of cooked salmon
  • Vitamin A as ¾ cup of broccoli
  • Potassium as one small banana

     Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28;

As reference, typical serving sizes are 8 fl oz milk, 1 large banana, 1 medium egg, 23 almonds, 5 cherry tomatoes, 3 cups raw spinach, ½ cup canned kidney beans, 3 oz cooked turkey, 3 oz cooked salmon and 1 cup raw broccoli.