Study: Two Cups of Milk a Day is Enough for Kids

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Milk has traditionally been considered to provide optimal nutrition for growing children. Lisa Capretto has written for on,The Health Benefits of Milk. The National Dairy Council says “milk packs quite a punch when it comes to nutrition—and you don’t have to drink a gallon to reap the benefits.” Today, Dec. 17, 2012, Crystal Phend has reported for MedPage Today, Kids’ Diet: Two Cup Limit for Milk.

An observational study affirmed that more than two cups of milk a day may cut into iron stores for many young kids. Jonathon Maguire, MD, MSc, of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues found higher consumption of cow’s milk was found to be linked to higher vitamin D levels but lower serum ferritin as a measure of iron levels. The group reported online in Pediatrics that each cup of milk consumed was linked to 6.5% higher vitamin D and 3.6% lower iron on the average.

For most 2- to 5-year-olds, two cups of milk a day seemed sufficient to keep vitamin D levels up with minimal effect on iron. However, children with darker skin pigmentation may require more milk during winter months. The study findings of this study fit with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics which suggest no more than two cups (500 mL) of cow’s milk a day from ages 2 to 6 in order to avoid iron deficiency. Both nutrients are essential for kids. Vitamin D is vital for bone health and likely for disease prevention too, while iron plays an important role in brain and psychomotor development.


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