Dairy Council Northern Ireland

Milk it for all it's worth


Nutrition

Dairy through life

Childhood

Below shows the recommended amount of calcium required by children of varying ages, as well as a guide as to the portions of dairy which could contribute towards meeting their needs.

 

1–3 years

Calcium needs mg/d 350

Portion suggestion providing about 360g of calcium

  • 100ml whole/semi skimmed milk
  • 80g yogurt
  • 15g cheese

4–6 years

Calcium needs mg/d 450

Portion suggestion providing about 465g of calcium

  • 130ml semi–skimmed milk
  • 100g yogurt
  • 20g cheese

7–10 years

Calcium needs mg/d 550 

Portion suggestion providing about 570g of calcium

  • 150ml semi–skimmed milk
  • 125g yogurt
  • 25g cheese

As well as dairy, there are other sources of calcium. These include tinned oily fish (with bones), calcium fortified soya drinks, calcium fortified soya deserts, tofu, sesame seeds and dried figs.


The benefits of dairy products for children

  • Milk and milk products (such as cheese and yogurt) can play an important part in a healthy balanced diet for children
  • During childhood, bones continue to grow and develop, and it is important that children have the right nutrients to build strong and healthy bones, and to lay the foundations for lifelong bone health
  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt can provide children with a variety of important nutrients such as calcium, which is required for bone and teeth maintenance and protein which is needed for growth and repair
  • Dairy products can also provide children with other important nutrients. Milk, for example, is a source of vitamin B2 for skin health and vitamin B12 which is needed to make red blood cells
  • Between the ages of one and two, it is recommended that toddlers have whole milk rather than lower fat varieties of milk (such as semi–skimmed and skimmed milk). Compared with lower fat milks, whole milk provides extra energy and vitamin A, which are important for growing children. After the age of two, semi–skimmed milk can gradually be introduced to a child’s diet, provided they are growing well and consuming a balanced diet
  • Skimmed milk and 1% fat milk are not suitable as main drinks for children under five
  • Only breast milk or formula milk should be given as a main drink to children under one as cow’s milk does not contain the right balance of nutrients to meet a baby’s needs at this age. After six months, cow’s milk can be used for cooking – for example to make a cheese sauce – and can be introduced as a main drink after the age of one
  • Under the government’s Healthy Start scheme parents on low incomes with children under four can receive vouchers to exchange for free milk (and fruit and vegetables)

Why not check out the School Milk Scheme section to find out how a carton of milk at school can contribute towards meeting a child’s nutrient needs?

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From the farm to the fridge, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland acts on behalf of the dairy industry, advertising and promoting the natural goodness and quality of Northern Ireland milk and dairy products.

Our primary function is to communicate factual information to allow individuals to make well informed choices about dairy products that they consume and to inform them of the benefits of including dairy products in a balanced diet. We use a wide range of media, which includes television, radio, press, magazine, posters and the internet. Our Advertising is complemented by public relations and promotional activities designed to communicate with specific groups.

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