Milk and Dairy products are unnecessary in the diet after 2 years of age
Most of the vegetarians drink milk and eat foods of plant origin. Since majority of the vegetarians do not have eggs and flesh foods as their staple diet, dairy products are their chief source of first class proteins. The first class proteins provided by milk and milk products contain all the essential amino acids, the building blocks for normal growth and development. Some fatty acids present in the milk also contribute to normal growth. Besides proteins, dairy products also provide energy, vitamin A, D, riboflavin and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Milk and Milk products help build healthy bones in children body. In this age of fitness mania, it is often forgotten that the consequences of being underweight in the growing age are harmful while mild overweight may be healthier. The most damaging consequence of insufficient milk intake during childhood and adolescence is dwarfism due to insufficient energy and calcium intake. Other potential adverse consequences of abhorring milk and milk products include:1.An Involuntary increase in sugar intake in form of candy, and sweetened beverages to compensate for inadequate energy intake. 2.Spells of Binge Eating. 3.Preference of Snacks and junk foods available in restaurants and fast food counters. 4.Insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals. 5.Delayed sexual maturation. Too much of negative focus on dairy foods is counterproductive and may be deleterious for the health of growing children adolescents. However, when fat restriction is advisable in childhood or adolescence due to overweight or some other medical problems, there are better choices than reducing milk intake-1.Consuming low fat milk and dairy products 2.Reducing snacks cooked in hydrogenated oils, vanaspati and fried foods. Hence, it is undisputed that no single plant source of protein can match the protein quality of milk and diet of children is incomplete without the integration of milk and milk products particularly among vegetarians. However, after 3-4 years of age low fat milk and milk products are recommended.