Letting Your Kids Drink Milk Apparently Makes You a Terrible Mom

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glass of milkWe're milk drinkers in my house. Perhaps you can say we're milk-washed, you know like brainwashed into loving milk. We do love it.  My 3-year-old son and I do. My daughter drinks it, too but not as much as her twin brother. My first words were "more milk" so I've been loving milk for a really, really long time.

I know there are many who are anti-cow's milk. I respect you. Unlike me, you are going to love the results of this latest study. In short, Pediatrics has reported that if you give your kids more than two cups of milk a day you are failing as a parent.

Letting your child drink more than two cups of milk a day is believed to "cut into iron stores" for a lot of kids. Great. Bring on the guilt. The American Academy of Pediatrics has already said that kids from 2 to 6 should have no more than 500 ml of milk a day, which is two cups, to keep them from having an iron deficiency. This study plays into that advice, noting that higher consumption of cow's milk could lead to higher vitamin D levels and lower iron.

I'm writing this as my son is begging, "I want some milky mommy! I want some millllllky!" If I give it to him, it would be his third glass of the day.

I've been watering down his milk because my doctor suggested that too much of it could be the cause of his constipation. So in an effort to wean him off it, I thought watering it down would work, and it has somewhat. But there are days when he just wants a lot of milk. And then there was the other day where he saw me putting water in it and freaked out.

A purist. That's my boy!

Interestingly, kids with darker skin may need more than two cups of milk during the winter months. My son is fair skinned though, so that doesn't apply to us.

So the vitamin D found in milk is great for our kids' bones, but iron aids in the development of their brain and psychomotor development. Too much much could cause a deficiency in that. I'm preparing for the no-milk meltdown my son's about to have because I'm not giving it to him -- that's just not something I want my kid to be deficient in.

I wonder if he'll like goat's milk. 

What do you think of this study? Does it worry you? Does your kid drink more than 2 cups of milk a day?


Image via joshwept/Flickr

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Jenny... JennyG0929

We drink almond milk and have noticed a variety of issues disappear since the switch. Humans are the only species which continues to drink milk after infancy. And, we drink it from a completely different animal.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Nothing is good in excess, especially foods that are inherently bad for you like dairy. If you want to give it to your kids it's entirely up to you but it should be limited like any other unhealthy food like candy or fries.

the4m... the4mutts

My kids don't drink more than 2 cups a day. Usually just milk in their cereal. But that's because milk is effing expensive! I can't afford like 10 gallons a month.

But I couldn't care less what other people decide to give their kids. That's just what works in my house.

nonmember avatar kat

It is true that milk can cut into a person's iron stores. I'm lactose intolerant, so I take a calcium and vitamin D pill every day. I noticed that this put me on the low end of normal for iron during blood work, and since I want to be able to donate blood, I asked what I should do since I need the calcium for bone health. She suggested I use slow iron, and that's worked really well for me. The point is to have moderation in everything, and that's what this two glasses a day recommendation is--you certainly needn't cut your kids off completely from cow's milk for fear that they won't develop well.

turna... turnandburn04

Cows milk is made to support a 1500# animal, not a 150# animal, so it does not havethe chemical makeup needed to support a smaller animal. The calcium in milk is useless to humans due to the fact it is used to support such a large animal, this is why we have such an onslaught of osteoporosis, and bone spurs in this country. The vitamin d in chores milk is very beneficial, but very little else. If you are looking for a good calcium source, goats milk is extremely beneficial and is fully absorbable since it is meant to support a roughly 150# animal. There is always almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, etc... There are many options besides cows milk that are far more beneficial.

Sirena Robinson

Milk isn't an unhealthy food like candy or fries. It has vitamins, protein, calcium, all things that we need. Dairy is good for you, so long as it's not all you eat. Cottage cheese is great for you to eat, and there are many studies that show that people who eat some dairy, such as yogurt, milk, and cheese, are a healthier weight than those who don't. There's nothing wrong with milk. In my house, there are several varieties in the fridge. Whole milk for my husband, 2% for me, and a combination of whole/almond/goat for our daughter. She likes it all, though vanilla almondmilk is the favorite! When I had to stop pumping at around 6 mos, our doctor had me start giving her goat's milk to supplement my frozen supply since she doesn't do well on formula, and she is happy, healthy, and way ahead on milestones.

jrl90 jrl90

and here comes all the holier than thou moms with "humans are the only species to drink milk from another species," "dairy is the devil", " raw milk is better for you", "thats's why we only drink hemp/amond/coconut milk", "that's why i still breastfeed my 4 year old" and so on. Everybody is clearly an expert and only their opinions are right.

Jespren Jespren

Or you could just make sure you eat enough iron. Eggs, meats, and some veggies are great iron sources for kids. Want an extra glass of milk? Eat an extra ounce of meat or and extra egg.

Jespren Jespren

Oh, and nearly *every* mammal will continue to drink milk as long as they can obtain it. That humans are smart enough to obtain it past childhood speaks to our intelligence, not to a poor dietary choice. Cows, horses, camels, dogs, cats, mice, even monkeys, bats, and great cats will all continue to drink past infancy as long as it is provided for them. Some people have difficulty with dairy and they should limit or avoid it, but in general milk has always been a 'high value' food that humans and non-humans alike do everything possible to obtain.

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