Milk is a nutritious beverage that supports optimal growth (both mental and physical) in a growing child. Unsurprisingly, the Ministry of Health recommends that children and teenagers should consume two to three servings of milk or milk products every day. Here are some tips for parents to encourage their children to do this.
- Drink milk together.
Have a special family moment where everyone enjoys a glass of milk together.
- Let the kids be the “boss”. Kids tend to enjoy drinking something that they have a hand in preparing.
Growing up milk is especially easy to prepare (hot water can be safely dispensed from a water heater-cum-dispenser), so let them prepare the milk for the special family “milk drinking time”. You can also let them plan their own breakfast menu that incorporates milk in some form.
- Add milk into daily meals.
For example, add milk into breakfast cereals or serve a glass of milk alongside breakfast, offer healthy milkshakes as snack time treats and add milk into home-made soups.
- Use milk powder as an ingredient in recipes such as cakes, cookies, waffles and shakes.
Include your kids in the preparations (they can help add the milk powder, for example) so that they can appreciate how milk can be used in many exciting and delicious ways.
- Share with your kids the benefits of drinking milk.
If they know that milk can help them grow up to become strong and healthy, they may be more willing to drink it every day. Some of these benefits include having strong bones as well as helping them become smarter in school.
- Show your kids the fun and fascinating side of milk.
Your kids may be more interested to drink milk if they know how milk is collected from cows. There are many educational videos on this topic on YouTube which you can watch together with your kids. You can also share with them fun stories and videos with main characters who love to drink milk.
Don’t give up! It may take a while for your kids to make a healthy habit out of drinking milk every day, so be patient as well as persistent!
This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of HealthToday.