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Milk and juice are cornerstones of childhood, but not the healthiest choices

Posted at 2:03 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 17:03:50-04

Growing up, a glass of milk and a cup of juice were considered necessary for our health, but some doctors say that’s not the case.

“Years ago, access to calories was not as easy for children,” said Dr. Robin Larabee with Rose Medical Center in Denver. “Having milk and juice was a good way to provide nutrients to children."

Dr. Larabee says that notion has gone sour.

"In most industrialized countries, there’s a lot more access to healthful and varied foods that the calories of milk and juice are just not as important anymore," said Dr. Larabee.

Dr. Larabee says milk is only necessary for kids under the age of 2. It's a great source of fat for brain development. As for kids over the age of 2, fat is not necessary and calcium and vitamin D can be found elsewhere.

“Calcium and vitamin D can be found in other sources like multivitamins or vitamin D supplements and calcium can be found in other items as well," said Dr. Larabee.

For some parents, alternative milks have become a staple, but is those even healthy for children?

“Addition of soy milk is not going to change your dietary needs," said Dr. Larabee.

As for juice, a 12 oz. glass can be equivalent to a can of soda.

“In my mind, there is no rational for juice except for a nice treat," said Dr. Larabee.

So, what’s doctor recommended these days?

“Straight up water unfortunately is probably the healthiest choice."