Print Edition - 2017-04-27  |  Health and Living

Can a child drink too much milk?

  • children’s health

Apr 27, 2017-

Cow’s milk has been a staple in the diet of children for a long time and is loaded with essential nutrients and energy,” including protein, fat, calcium and vitamin D, said Dr Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician and researcher at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. While kids can get these nutrients from other foods, milk is an easy and inexpensive source that most children like. “However, as with most healthy things, too much of a good thing is probably not a good thing,” Dr Maguire said.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children consume two to three cups of milk or servings of other dairy products per day, depending on their age. “Five to six cups of milk for a five-year old child is excessive,” said Angela Lemond, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The problem is that there is a nutritional tradeoff of sorts with milk. A 2013 study led by Dr Maguire found that when two-to-five-year-old children drank more milk, their vitamin D levels increased, but their iron stores decreased which could lead to anaemia and problems with brain development. When children drank about two cups of milk per day, they got enough vitamin D without risking iron deficiency.

Published: 27-04-2017 08:54

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