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One Glass of Milk Every Morning for a Strong Start

Close-up of Red Splashing Water Against White Background

So we're in the third quarter of the year. Time to have a check on our health goals. Let's talk about your milk intake.

Milk — whether it's cow's milk, soy milk, or almond milk — provides between one-fourth and one-third of all the calcium most kids and adults should have in a day. Cow's milk is also an excellent source of lean protein. It contains many other essential nutrients, including phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, niacin, and riboflavin, important for adult and kid's health.

I've always loved milk as a kid and continue to do so as an adult.

Most kids (73 percent) drink milk, but only about 20 percent drink low-fat or nonfat milk, which is the healthiest option. According to the South East Asian Nutrition Survey (SEANUTS), nearly 50% of children in Malaysia do not meet calcium and vitamin D needs, and the Malaysian Adults Nutritional Survey 2014 indicates adults' intake of major micronutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, is less than two-thirds of the recommended nutrient intake (RNI) by the Ministry of Health. More worrying is the findings from the SEANUTS survey which showed that Malaysian children drink on average only half a serving of milk a day, and that only a mere 5% of children actually meets the recommended two servings of milk daily, which could have helped them meet calcium and vitamin D needs.

According the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2010 Dietary Guidelines, this is how much milk children should drink daily:

Children ages 2 to 3 years: 2 cups
Children ages 4 to 8 years: 2 1/2 cups
Children age 9 years and older: 3 cups

Despite its contributions to good nutrition, many adults often shun drinking milk. Maybe the next fact will encourage you to drink more milk. Researchers at the universities of Reading, Cardiff, and Bristol in the UK say that drinking milk could reduce your risk of dying from heart disease and stroke by as much as 20 percent!

Another fun fact: milk's calcium and vitamin D can build strong bones, but did you know milk can also help save a tooth in an emergency? If a permanent tooth gets knocked out, dropping the tooth in a glass of cold milk could help preserve it until a dentist can put it back in its socket.

In a study of trained cyclists, those who drank chocolate milk post-workout experienced better body composition, improved training times, and overall better physical shape than peers who had sports drinks.

School lunchrooms are caught up in the debate whether chocolate milk is a healthy drink for children. "I'd rather see a kid drink low-fat chocolate milk and have a little extra sugar than not drink milk at all," says Marjorie Nolan, MS, RD, a New York–based nutrition counselor and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Same with other flavored milks, she says. Studies show that children who drink flavored milks have healthier diets than children who drink soda and sweetened fruit juices.

You're not alone. Between 1 percent and 7.5 percent of children younger than a year have an allergy to the protein in cow's milk and formulas based on cow's milk. But there are lots of alternatives to cow's milk — soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk, to name a few. Many of the milk alternatives are fortified with calcium. Choose substitutes that provide at least the same amount of nutrition as milk and sticking to unsweetened varieties to scale back on calories and added sugars.

Children with milk allergies may outgrow them faster if they eat baked foods that contain milk, say researchers at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. They studied 88 children who had milk allergies and were fed muffins, cookies, waffles, and other baked foods that contained milk as an ingredient. Researchers found that, over time, the children who had been fed the baked products ultimately did better with uncooked milk than kids who were kept off milk altogether.

An 8-ounce glass of milk has about 300 milligrams (mg) of the calcium you need. You can find a bountiful 415 mg of calcium in one cup of plain 2-percent yogurt. Half a cup of broccoli has 89 mg of calcium, so you'd need to eat 1 1/2 cups of broccoli to come close. You'd need to eat about 5 ounces of salmon or 6 ounces of tofu. It's important to remember that vitamin D helps your bones absorb calcium, so don't skimp on the sunshine vitamin for optimal health.

According to Dr Poj Bee Koon of Faculty of Health Sciences, UKM, who led the SEANUTS Malaysia survey, the most commonly consumed breakfast such as roti canai, nasi lemak, roti telur, sardine sandwiches, curry puffs and kuih do not supply enough essential nutrients to meet 20 to 25% of daily recommended nutrient intake for both adults and kids.

However, when these breakfasts are consumed together with a 250ml serving of fortified milk, the ideal 20-25% of daily nutrition intake can be attained. Nasi lemak is one of my favourites when it comes to dinner, not breakfast!

Guests to the Dutch Lady are asked to vote for their favourite breakfasts and guess how much nutrient intake comes from breakfast

Ashlee Ng, Marketing Director of Dutch Lady Malaysia says "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it is the first meal we eat after 8 to 12 hours from our last meal. Depriving our bodies of nutrients for as long as 12 hours means our brain lacks energy when we wake up." (Maybe that's why we see so many zombies at work)

Emcee Serena C questioning the usual suspects (not!). The interview panel comprising of Dr Po (UKM), Miah Chuah (Nutritionist at Dutch Lady Milk Industries Corporate), Actress Sari Yanti and Blogger mum Kylie sharing their thoughts about how much milk they and their families take

Milk makes your teeth stronger. Look at their brilliant smiles!


  1. I actually do drink milk everyday...but unfortunately I have to slow down on my diary intake as it is 'promoting' my pimples to pop...T.T

  2. up to 75%. of the worlds population is lactose intolerant after age 5. Check out this Ted Talk. The dairy industry puts a lot of money towards making you think that their products are healthy. Happy learning!!

    1. A lot of industries and governments create stats/studies to suit their own pockets and that's why the cure to cancer will never be revealed. However, I genuinely like milk especially when they're in ice cream form ;p

  3. I do prefer chocolate milk than plain milk.

  4. I, too same with Yana, have to reduce intake of dairy as it stimulates more breakout to my skin. :(

  5. I used to drink a glass of milk every morning when I was schooling. When I left, I just had a different kind of breakfast and most of them do not include milk. LOL

    1. Ahh we need more calcium as we grow older and our bones get more brittle. If you don't drink milk, you might need to substitute it with something else with high calcium such as Bok Choy, Sesame Seeds, Seaweed, Oranges/Orange Juice and Tofu

  6. I think milk is important. I like being healthy and keeping my family healthy.. sadly.. hubby does not drink milk

    1. Not everyone likes milk..maybe add honey or dates to make it sweeter?

  7. I'v never gotten over the habit of having a glass of milk every morning. I'm happy to see the emphasis on its nutritional value and propagation among adults. It's certainly a good practice to adopt. Cheers!!

  8. I do drink strawberry milk although not on regular basis.

    1. Can replace with other food stuff with similar nutritional value

  9. Great very informative blog. I never liked milk but your blog inspired me to go for it.

    1. Cool! Try blending it with almonds/honey/dates. It helps make it more palatable

  10. Very informative sharing! Yeah! Am a milk lover too, just that sometimes I opted for coffee or tea during breakfast...ha...ha...cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

    1. I try to drink both when I can (and when I actually have breakfast!)

  11. I do drink milk everyday, but not in the morning. I can't stand the after taste that stick to the tongue after we drink milk. haha

    1. Yup, I try to wash it down with water to take away the sour after taste

  12. Yes, one glass of milk for a healthy bone and teeth. I love Dutch Lady milk.

  13. There are a lot of milk brands in the market today and they are confusing. We should really take our best effort to choose the right one as milk is an essential part of our nutrition.

    1. There are lots..some are without preservatives and in purer form. You can't store them too long though. Different brands have different tastes and prices. I guess you'll need to try a few to see which you prefer

  14. Gone are the days I have milk every morning. I'm a coffee person now lols. But my son always have his milk first thing in the morning.


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