Essential for bones, milk is sometimes considered too rich in protein and saturated fat, and insufficient in essential fatty acids and vitamins. True or false ? Dr. Michel Vidailhet, professor of pediatrics, Nancy University Hospital answers.
What is the interest of milk for the little child?
- Milk provides all the needs during the first six months, by breastfeeding, if not by infant formula. Afterwards, it still ensures 75% of the contributions, up to 30% towards 1 year. Beyond that, the child still needs a milk adapted to his growth, rich in essential fatty acids, iron and vitamin D.
- The exclusion of milk and dairy products (sometimes replaced by rice, hazelnut juice) are the cause of severe malnutritions. After 2 years, this exclusion alters bone mineralization and increases the risk of fractures.
Is milk essential for bones?
- Its richness in calcium makes milk a key food for skeletal building. Numerous studies show a positive correlation between milk and dairy consumption and bone mineralization. Milk has direct effects on bone growth and morphogenesis. In case of pathology, some calcium supplements can be a good contribution but their benefit disappears as soon as they are no longer administered.
Is the protein level too important?
- To absorb too much protein the baby could be overweight. A European study is underway to demonstrate whether or not an excess of protein may be responsible for further overweight. In the meantime, it seems more sensible to limit other sources of protein, for example meat, which is often consumed excessively.
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