Milk is considered a complete food for babies because it contains calcium, protein, fat, carbohydrates and other essential minerals – all nutrients that are important for a child’s overall development. However, many babies do not like the taste of plain milk and hate it. Some children can be persuaded to drink a glass of milk, while others refuse it altogether. Any food can be made more interesting and tasty according to children’s taste. There are various ways to make this important food indispensable for children. (Also Read: Is it safe for people with diabetes to drink milk? Expert Answers)
“Milk is one of the most popular beverages around the world. It has many health benefits and is extremely nutritious. It is one of the richest sources of protein, calcium and potassium, omega-3 healthy fats and other vitamins and minerals. It is essential. Strong For teeth and bones, it contains vitamin D, which is indispensable for maintaining bone health. Many children tend to be food fads and averse to drinking milk, says Dr Mohammad Amir, senior consultant- neonatologist and paediatrician, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon.
There are many ways to make milk tasty, fun and nutritious. Dr Mohammad Amir suggests some easy and fun ways to improve the taste and nutritional value of milk.
1. Milk shakes and smoothies
A fruit smoothie or shake can make milk interesting and improve its nutritional profile. Mangoes, strawberries, bananas, and chickpeas are commonly used fruits, but practically any fruit can be mixed with milk to make a delicious and healthy concoction. Adding fruit to milk increases the fiber content along with minerals and vitamins. Fruits are the most natural way to detox the body and flush out harmful toxins.
2. Dry fruits and nuts
Commonly used dry fruits are almonds, raisins, dates, walnuts, pistachios or cashews. Sweetened dry fruits like raspberries/blueberries can also be added to make the milk taste more pleasant. Dry fruits are more nutritious and milk contains good amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
3. Turmeric milk
The combination of turmeric and milk works well for cold and cough, as both are rich in antioxidants. Turmeric milk can be given once in two weeks or when the child shows symptoms of cold. It is more suitable for rainy and winter season than summer. This turmeric milk can be given to children after one year. Initially start with small amount and always use organic pure turmeric powder for preparation.
4. Grain mixture
Milk can be used as a cooking medium for almost any grain to make porridge. This can ensure, the baby not only gets protein, minerals, calcium and vitamins from milk but also carbohydrates and other minerals/vitamins from cereals. Some examples are ragi malt, porridge, urad milk mix, semolina mix porridge.
Different combinations can be tried depending on what your child likes. Natural sweeteners such as dates or honey can be used and artificial sugars should preferably be avoided.
5. Avocados hash with honey milk mixture
Avocados are a rich source of protein, fat, multiple minerals and vitamins, as well as dietary fiber. It is also rich in antioxidants and when combined with honey, it helps boost immunity, relieves constipation and tastes great.
“Regular use of milk supplement powders readily available in the market should be avoided and more emphasis should be placed on making home-made food more nutritious,” concludes Dr Amir.