Milk - not just for kids!

Milk - not just for kids!
Sue Mah

By: Sue Mah

Registered Dietitian,
in collaboration with Dairy Farmers of Canada

Did you know that our bones are alive? Our 206 bones are constantly being renewed, even after we stop growing. That's why calcium-rich foods like milk products are essential at every age. The problem is, many of us don't know how many servings of milk products we need.

How much and why?

The number of recommended servings of milk and alternatives varies by gender and age.

One serving is:

250 mL (1 cup) milk 175 g (¾ cup) yogurt or kefir 50 g (1½ oz about 2 slices) cheese 125 mL (½ cup) shredded cheese

Since milk is an excellent source of vitamin D, Canada's Food Guide recommends that we drink two cups (500 mL) of milk every day for adequate vitamin D. Pre-teens and teens need more milk products than others because they're at a stage of life when it's very important to maximize bone mass.

Adults over the age of 50 require more vitamin D yet are less able to produce the vitamin through sun skin exposure. Thus, in addition to consuming milk, Canada's Food Guide recommends that adults over the age of 50 take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms or 400 IU.

Troubling figures

It's hard to believe that over a third (37 per cent) of children aged four to nine, although in their growing years, consume less than two servings of milk products a day! And the majority of teens and adults don't get enough either. Remember that calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients in milk and milk products are essential for everybody at all ages. In youngsters, these nutrients help to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. In adults and seniors, calcium and vitamin D team up to preserve bone mass and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

You can change these statistics!

Enjoy milk and milk products at meals and snacks. Start your morning with a latté or a bowl of cereal with milk. Add cheese to sandwiches, salads and casseroles. Swap your afternoon coffee for a cup of hot chocolate. Serve yogurt with fresh fruit for dessert. It all adds up!

Get Up and Go breakfast smoothie

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