If your child is a milkaholic, there may be at least one good reason to rein in their habit, reports the New York Times. While milk is an easy and inexpensive source of protein, fat, calcium, and vitamin D, too much of it (more than two to three cups per day) could increase the risk of an iron deficiency. For example, one study published in 2013 found that when two- to five-year olds drank more than two cups of milk per day, their iron levels decreased. Iron intake is important because a deficiency could contribute to anemia or brain development problems.
So, what’s the deal with milk’s anti-iron campaign? Researchers think milk’s high calcium content could be part of the problem, as calcium can block iron’s absorption in the body. Filling up on milk could also leave less room in tiny tummies for wholesome, iron-rich foods—six cups of 2% milk, for instance, contains about half the daily caloric needs of a five year old. To help kick their milk addiction, have your child stick to the USDA’s recommended two to three cups of milk per day and encourage them to eat a variety of nutritious foods.
Source: New York Times