Got Milk?

In 1993 with the help of the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the California Milk Processor Board created a slogan to help decreasing sales of milk. Consumption had been decreasing for decades even by the early 90’s, in competition with soda and juice. The “Got Milk?” slogan stemmed from consumers saying that they only thought about milk when they ran out, even though they knew it is good for their body. With the help of several advertisement campaigns over the years, milk has became the beverage associated with stronger bones, healthy kids and Olympic athletes.
1 cup (8 oz.) of cow’s milk provides 8 grams of protein, 300 mg of calcium (which is 50% of the recommended dietary allowances for 1-3 year olds) and other essential nutrients often lacking in children’s diets like vitamin D and potassium. However, as kids begin to get older milk often gets displaced by sodas, juice and/or sport drinks and parents can often become concerned their child isn’t getting enough calcium in their diet. While milk provides calcium, it is not the only source in our diet. Other dairy products like cheese (1.5oz = ~300mg), yogurt (8 oz = ~300 mg) and cottage cheese (8 oz = ~200mg) are also deemed “excellent sources” of calcium. However in addition to dairy sources, there are many non-dairy sources like canned salmon (3 oz = ~138 mg), cooked kale (1 cup = ~100 mg) and almonds (½ cup = ~125mg) that are considered “good sources” of calcium. Additionally some foods like breakfast cereals and orange juice have been fortified with calcium – adding a mineral to foods that typically wouldn’t.  
Besides for calcium, milk is a great source of protein making a healthy addition to any meal, snack or post-work. With the emergence of new health-crazes, many milk alternatives have hit the market; soy, almond, rice, and coconut milk to name a few. Whereas soy milk has an equivalent amount of protein (8gm) per cup compared to cow’s milk – almond, rice and coconut only have 1 gm, <1 gm and 0 gram respectively. Alternative sources of milk make for great solutions for individuals who are vegetarian, vegan or with lactose-intolerance, but individuals consuming these products need to be aware that these are not adequate sources of protein. Even though milk alternatives – not including soy – may provide a lower-calorie, lower-saturated fat and allergenic free solution, they should not be relied upon on as a source of protein. Look at your child’s diet as a whole before becoming concerned about the amount of protein or calcium in their diet.

Next time your kids are asking for something that can provide them with adequate protein, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals, respond by asking “Got Milk?”