Do children really need milk?

Cara Natterson, MD explains how children who regularly drink milk enjoy many benefits over those who drink juice and soda as an alternative
Kids Health TIps | How Drinking Milk Benefits Children | Kids in the House
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Do children really need milk?

Milk definitely does a body good. Water is your most important drink. Your kids should be drinking water at every meal. And that should be their staple. But children are not going to drink water and water alone. And milk is the very best alternative. It's got protein, it's got calcium. It's iron-fortified. It's Vitamin-D fortified. It's a great source of nutrition. Now there are lots of different milks out there. For the lactose-intolerant kids, there's Lactaid. For the milk-allergant kids, there's rice milk, soy milk, almond milk. And as far as I'm concerned, any milk is a good milk to have. I like low-fat or non-fat milk, but any milk is a good drink. When you look at studies that have been done between milk-drinking kids and non-milk-drinking kids, the milk-drinking kids are longer and leaner. They're healthier. But that's because the non-milk-drinking kids are choosing to drink juice or soda instead as their alternate drink. So as far as I'm concerned, you should have milk and water in your fridge. And for that one kid who just can't stand milk, calcium-fortified orange juice is a reasonable alternative.

Cara Natterson, MD explains how children who regularly drink milk enjoy many benefits over those who drink juice and soda as an alternative


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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