Your child won’t (or can’t) drink milk! Alternative sources of nutrients?
- by Shruti Gokarn
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A dread fills your child at breakfast when that humungous glass of milk had to be faced and conquered. And coaxing, cajoling, threatening and sometimes even bribing goes into getting your child to drink milk. Sounds familiar? Whether your child hates milk or is lactose intolerant, how do you make sure that you provide them all the nutrients milk contains?
Milk contains a lot of nutrients – minerals like calcium, proteins, vitamin D and vitamin B12. So, logic dictates that if a child cannot or will not drink milk then you have to look for other foods that contain the nutrients that milk has. For all you know, you may already be consuming some of these foods.
Take calcium for instance. Calcium is required for strong bones. You would have heard this a hundred times. But milk is not the only source of calcium. Did you know ragi, the millet consumed very commonly by Indians is a superfood? This versatile grain is powdered and its flour is used in various preparations, either by itself or along with other grains. It can be cooked into a porridge or added to idli and dosa batters. Nowadays it is also used to make multigrain breads. If your child has a sweet tooth make a sweet porridge or use ragi to make delicious sheera or yummy laddoos. This will take care of the calcium requirements of your child.
Another calcium rich alternative is drumsticks. Just like ragi, it is available in Indian markets throughout the year. Add it to dals and sambar or to other vegetable preparations and it will contribute wonderfully towards fulfilling your requisite calcium quota.
Next comes the protein requirement. There are plenty of foods which can provide protein in place of milk. While people who consume meat and fish have a range of options from eggs to chicken, vegetarians need not despair. With pulses like tur dal, rajma, moong, matki and rajma are all rich in protein.
As for Vitamin B12 you can give your children soy milk, eggs and cheese.
So, now you know that you need not be at your wits’ end if you are having trouble getting your child to drink milk or if they are lactose intolerant. Go ahead and heave a sigh of relief!