Mary Alice Reporting – A pediatrician notes that while alternative non-dairy products have remained popular, cow milk can also be beneficial.

Research from the National Library of Medicine indicated that substituting milk with non-dairy calcium sources can lead to gaps in other key nutrients like protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, or potassium.

Dr. Tanya Altmann says kids benefit from on 8-ounce glass of dairy milk per day to get nutritional benefits that otherwise is not absorbed through foods. The catch though is to find dairy products with less ingredients to get the full benefits.

“We always say try to look for foods for your kids with fewer ingredients because fewer ingredients is often better. So that’s milk, vitamin a, and vitamin D. It also has more calories, more nutrients that kids need, selenium and zinc.”

Watching out for ingredients is also important if choosing a non-dairy alternative.

Altmann also recommends having a variety of nutrient-dense food for a well-balanced diet.

“You want to make sure that your kids are eating a rainbow every day. A lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and then things to minimize would be all those processed foods. Sweet foods, junk foods, those are things that kids really don’t need and especially don’t need in the morning before school.”

Additionally, if a child is dairy sensitive, a meeting with the primary doctor is recommended to get advice so the youth is getting the proper vitamin nutrients.

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