Children eating dairy

Dairy for children

Children need a range of nutrients to support their growing bodies.

Providing children with a diet including foods from the five food groups will help kids get the range of nutrients and fuel they need.

Dairy products are best known for providing calcium to help build strong bones which grow rapidly during childhood. But there's more benefits to dairy than just calcium. Other essential nutrients including protein for growth and development, zinc for brain function and vitamin A for healthy eyes are all found in dairy foods.

Depending on their age and gender, children need between one-and-a-half and three serves of dairy foods every day.

Most Aussie kids aren’t meeting the recommended serves of milk, cheese and yoghurt and/or alternatives every day. By including dairy products in kids’ meals, they will become familiar with the delicious taste and creamy texture of dairy foods and build good habits for life.

Healthy teeth

Milk and other dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt contain calcium, phosphorus and the protein casein, which are all anti-decay nutrients that promote strong, healthy teeth.

Additionally, research has shown hard cheese to be linked with decreased risk of dental cavities and erosion while milk has been linked to decreased risk of cavities, making it a good drink choice between meals.

A recent survey revealed Australian kids consumed more than one cup of fruit juice per day and some even reported consuming two cups or more of soft drinks, cordials and sports drinks a day. These drinks contribute to dental decay and erosion.

Milk and water are the best drink choices for children and help to keep their teeth healthy.

For more information on dental health check out the Australian Dental Association