Milk is for Life
Happy gurgling babies need to drink milk to grow bigger and stronger. But do you know that a baby’s need for milk begins when he is in his mother’s womb?
A baby’s skeleton is formed during pregnancy. So while most adults typically require just 800mg of calcium daily, a pregnant woman is recommended to take in more. This is because part of the nutrients now goes into ensuring that the baby’s bones grow healthy. If not enough calcium is consumed, the growing baby will be forced to take in the calcium stored in his mother’s bones, hence weakening her skeletal system.
After birth, babies derive energy from milk. From one year old onwards, toddlers can start to switch from drinking formula milk to fresh cow’s milk. Fresh cow’s milk as part of a balanced diet works well enough for a toddler one year old and above. Aim to let your one to two years old child consume 750ml of milk each day. Until the age of two, children are encouraged to drink full fat milk in order to absorb as much nutrients as possible. Once they are over two years of age, however, they can switch to low-fat milk to curb the possibility of obesity. During their growing years, milk is especially important because it is not only a good source of calcium but it also contains other vital nutrients that will aid healthy growth.
The fat in whole milk provides energy while the protein found in milk is vital for nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting. Milk also contains Vitamin B, which is needed for the growth and health of the nervous system. Meanwhile, Vitamin A helps to maintain normal vision and good skin. Calcium is necessary for strong teeth as 99 per cent of the calcium in the human body is stored in the teeth and bones.
Calcium is especially important for children between the ages of 10 to 18 as this is the stage at which they are most physically active. This is a critical bone-formation period in their lives, when peak bone mass is accumulated. At this stage, children often need 200mg more than what is required for adults because children and teenagers are often more active – they walk, run and play strenuous sports like football and basketball, which make bones work against the pull of gravity.
When a person is young, he should drink more than four glasses of milk daily in order to fulfill the calcium requirement. As most of the skeletal development of children is completed by the time they reach their 20s, it is essential that they take in enough calcium in their childhood to build a strong future.
Stave off the threat of osteoporosis during old age and prevent the natural loss of bone density mass by filling up with milk throughout your life. You will surely reap the benefits in your twilight years.