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Milk: The Powerhouse of Essential Nutrients

Infants under 1 year of age shouldn't have regular cow's milk because it doesn't have the nutrients a growing baby of that age needs. So, hold off and just stick with breast milk or infant formula for the first year.

• Kids between 1 and 2 years old should have whole milk (full fat milk) to help provide the dietary fats they need for normal growth, and for nerve and brain development.

• Kids over 2 years can switch to low-fat, i.e. 1% or 2% fat milk.

For the milk-haters or fence-sitters who have a love-hate relationship with milk, try to package milk in an interesting way. Here are some ideas to offer:

• Fruit milkshakes like banana/apple/strawberries, etc.;

• Hot chocolate milk;

• Add a little flavor to milk like vanilla, crushed cardamom (elaichi);

• Milk with breakfast cereals like wheat flakes, cornflakes, healthy muesli, oatmeal, broken wheat daliya, etc.;

• Cold milk as some kids prefer the cold taste of milk;

• Set an example. Drink milk yourself in their presence.

If children still refuse to drink milk, add milk to:

• Fruit yogurt

• Smoothies with fresh fruit and yogurt

• Soups

• Homemade custard with fruits for natural sweetness

• Whole wheat pasta.

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