Q. Should children drink low-fat or full-fat milk?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 20 December 2013.
Tagged: children, fat, low fat, milk, nutrition

Q. Should children drink low-fat or full-fat milk?
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[THE QUESTION IN FULL]  Q.  We hear about childhood obesity all the time. Should kids be switching to lite milk or stay with full-fat? Seems lite milks still have all the calcium etc., they need?

A.  The current recommendation is that after the age of two, low-fat milks (not skim) are fine for children.

For children prone to being overweight or who come from a family with a history of heart disease and/or obesity, they are a good idea. And the bonus is that many of these low-fat milks have had their calcium boosted so your kids will get MORE calcium per glass than from full-cream milk.

There are so many brands at the dairy case these days, it's very confusing. Look for a low-fat or reduced-fat milk with 2 g fat per 100 ml (check the Nutrition Information panel at the back of the label). Lite White or similar is the usual brand name but it varies state to state.

There's no need to drop to a No-fat or skim milk for kids (Shape, Pura Tone) which have almost zero fat. Full-fat milk has 4 g per 100 ml (which means 4% fat) so going half way to 2 per cent is a good compromise between taste, fat and calcium for children.

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