Milk has been a staple as many people know in America’s athletes because of the high quality protein along with other essential nutrients that it possesses. The Milk Life committee has recently embarked a 5 year partnership with the United States Olympic Committee to be an official sponsor through at least 2020 with not only the Olympic teams, but also the Paralympics teams.
Milk has been empowering our athletes for centuries, and it should be fueling your children as well. White milk has 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein in every 8 ounce glass. Milk contains a package of nutrients that’s hard to find in any other single food or beverage. It’s real, affordable, and naturally nutrient-rich. Experts recommend three servings of low fat or fat free milk and milk products each day for anyone over the age of two. Those who are not underweight should consume 1 percent or skim milk as there is no difference in the micronutrients.
Bone is living tissue that is always in flux. Throughout one’s life, bones are constantly being broken down and built up in a process known as remodeling. Bone cells called osteoblasts build bone, and other bone cells called osteoclasts break down bone. In healthy individuals who get enough calcium and physical activity, bone production exceeds bone destruction up to about age 30. After that, destruction typically exceeds production.
Some key points regarding children and calcium include:
- Nutrition and physical activity are both necessary, and work together, to improve bone health.
- Calcium is necessary for bone growth in infancy, childhood and adolescence.
- Milk intake during childhood and adolescence is linked to stronger bones and fewer broken bones in adulthood.
- Calcium is found in other foods such as dark green leafy vegetables and beans, but large amounts are needed to meet calcium requirements.
- Lactose intolerance can be an issue for consuming enough dairy, and thus calcium. Some children can tolerate smaller amounts of regular dairy or can use lactose free milk and cheese or lactase enzymes.
- Children who drink soda generally drink less milk, which can lead to inadequate calcium and vitamin D intakes because of the phosphoric acid that can break down bone composition.
- It is better to get our nutrients from foods versus supplements as the nutrients in food are more readily available to your body.
- Other nutrients in dairy important to bone development and maintenance of bone include vitamin D, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.