As a dairy product, milk plays a vital role in your child's growth and development. Milk is high in calcium and helps build strong bones and healthy teeth. Unfortunately, parents may find that their children stop wanting to drink milk once they get older, preferring to drink juices and sodas. You may, however, be able to get some milk into your children if you allow them to drink flavoured varieties. But what are the pros and cons for their teeth?
The Advantages of Flavoured Milk
Although flavoured milk adds ingredients to regular milk, it still contains all the benefits of the milk's calcium, casein and phosphorus. Offering flavored milk can be a good way of getting children to take in a serving of dairy, especially if they refuse to drink regular milk and don't usually eat other dairy products.
According to the Healthy Kids Association, children need a specific dairy intake right through to their teenage years. For example, children need 1½–2 servings of dairy products a day until they are 8 years of age and 2½–3½ servings after that. A 250 ml glass of milk equals one serving, taking you some way towards getting essential calcium into your child.
The Disadvantages of Flavoured Milk
Flavoured milks are typically quite sweet, which is part of the reason they appeal to kids. This sweetness may contribute to tooth decay if your child drinks a lot of flavoured milk with a high sugar content.
According to the Australian Department of Health, some flavoured milks can contain up to seven teaspoons of sugar in a 300 ml serving. Some of this sugar may be down to the milk's natural sugar content. For example, a 250 ml serving of low-fat milk contains the equivalent of three teaspoons of sugar. These lactose sugars don't harm the teeth; however, the added teaspoons of regular sugars in flavoured milk may not be so good for your children's teeth.
Reap the Benefits and Avoid the Problems
If flavoured milk is the only dairy option your child will tolerate, you may have to bite the bullet and accept this drink option. To minimise the bad effects of flavoured milk, try the following tips:
For further tips and to make sure your child's teeth are in good shape, set up an appointment with a local dentist.Share