How to make sure your child gets their daily quota of milk

Written by Rasika Thakur Parab
Published: June 25, 2023
Consulting Medical Nutritionist with an experience of more than 14 years.

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Most of us have grown up with our mums chasing us with that glass of milk. And, of course, the tradition continues. Besides that, slogans like “Got Milk?” or celebrities sporting a milk moustache in ad films have always underlined the goodness of this powerhouse of nutrition. Let’s explore what makes milk exceptional and why you must include it in your kid’s daily diet. 

Milk comes with hordes of health benefits, and the globe celebrates its goodness every year on June 1 as World Milk Day. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations started observing the day in 2001 to raise awareness about the importance of milk and dairy products for health and nutrition.

Milk is for everyone:

Trivia: Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense and affordable foods available today. It’s rich with nine crucial nutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, and protein. It also has significant vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Milk is a rich source of essential nutrients, especially protein, which supports growth, development, and immunity. If you think milk is only for young kids, you’re obviously wrong. It is essential for children who need adequate nutrition for their physical and mental well-being. However, having a glass of milk is a good idea for everyone, age no bar.

Just as breast milk or formula milk gives infants and toddlers the necessary energy and nutrients for growth and development, drinking milk ensures older kids grow with stronger bones and teeth. Not just that, milk also protects them against osteoporosis and dental caries later in life. Besides, milk also supports muscle growth, brain function, and hormonal balance during puberty.

The rich content of protein in the milk makes it good for you to: 

  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Gain muscles
  • Improve immunity, thus reducing occurrences of infections 
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
  • Prevent bone loss and fractures as it contains good amounts of calcium

How much milk should your child drink daily?

Trivia: The first milk bottle was invented more than 130 years ago in 1884. 

The above fun-fact aside, here’s an interesting titbit — milk is composed of approximately 87 percent water and 13 percent solids. So, nutritional benefits of drinking milk every day aside, you’d also be helping them meet their fluid requirements and prevent dehydration. 

Here’s the recommended quantity for your kids: 

  • Aged 1 to 2 years should drink 2 to 3 cups of whole milk per day
  • Aged 2 to 8 years should drink 2 to 2.5 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk per day
  • Aged 9 to 18 years should drink 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk per day

Unique ways to include milk consumption in the daily diet

Trivia: Nations that consume a good amount of milk have won more Nobel Prizes, says a 2013 study. With 31.855 rewards for every 10 million people, Sweden tops the list.

Does your kid make a fuss about drinking milk? Well, first of all, it’s normal behaviour. Some children may not like the taste of plain milk or may even be lactose intolerant or allergic, preventing them from drinking milk. There’s a way out for everyone. You can give your lactose-intolerant young ones calcium-fortified soy milk, almond milk or oat milk as alternatives to cow or buffalo milk.

As for the fussy little ones, try some unique ways, such as:

  • Add milk to cereals, oatmeal, smoothies, soups, sauces, or baked goods
  • Offer flavoured milk or yoghurt drinks as a snack or dessert
  • Make homemade ice cream or popsicles with milk and fruits
  • Use cheese or cottage cheese as a topping or filling for sandwiches, salads, or wraps

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Quick and healthy flavoured milk recipes

There’s nothing that a bit of healthy flavour can’t fix. Flavoured milk can make it more fun and appealing to them. Here are a couple of quick and healthy flavoured milk recipes you can try at home.

Chocolate Banana Milk

Bananas have several health benefits. They are rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and many bioactive compounds, boosting children’s overall health. Cacao in moderation makes way for positive emotions and energy. 


  • 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A pinch of cinnamon (optional)


Peel and chop the banana into small pieces.

Add the banana, milk, cocoa powder, and cinnamon (if using) to a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Strawberry Vanilla Milk

Strawberries and vanilla are rich in antioxidants. A good source of vitamin C, manganese and potassium, strawberries will be beneficial to your child’s eye and dental health, too. 


  • 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A dash of honey (optional)


Add washed strawberries, milk, vanilla extract, and honey (if using) to a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Cherry Milk

Cherry is tasty and a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, protein and iron. 


  • ¼ cup of cherries
  • 1 cup of milk


Add cherries and milk to a blender and blend until consistent and smooth. Pour into a glass and serve it to your kid. 


It’s no wonder that milk was the “food of the gods” in ancient Indian, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilisations. The beverage has been a central theme in the founding myths of many societies throughout history. Milk is a nutritious beverage that benefits people of all ages, especially children, who need adequate nutrition for their growth, development, immunity, and overall health. Much like the globe observes World Milk Day, we must also celebrate the importance of milk and dairy products and include them in our kids’ daily diets. The goodness of milk will stay with your child until the later years of their life. And if they’re not fond of the drink, whip up some delicious milk recipes and make them fall in love with the beverage. 

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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