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Moving from child to adult diet/how much milk for 5yo

(22 Posts)
Tinkjon Sun 03-Aug-08 08:19:37

You know how, in general, small children need a high-fat diet and adults a low one? Well when do you move from one to the other?! It's too weird to think that one day full-fat cheese is good for them and the next day it isn't! I still give 5yo DD full-fat everything but am wondering whether/when I should switch to low-fat...

Also, I've been obsessing about how much milk baby DS is having, when it occurs to me that I have no idea how much milk his 5yo sister should be having Are there any guidelines for kids of this age?


lljkk Sun 03-Aug-08 09:28:08

I think there are guidelines, but the truth is that it's complicated to calculate correctly and even then no one has a definitive right way to find the answer. You would need to consider ALL sources of fat/protein/nutrients in your child's diet, as well as their size and activity levels, to figure out a right amount of milk, and even then the answer would be a range (maybe between 1/2 pint and 2.5 pints).

Personally, I still give my 8yo full fat milk, as much as he wants (probably about a pint a day). He's scrawny and small for age, fairly active, and has a 'balanced' diet in other respects. Plenty of adults drink lots of full-fat milk with no harm done.

psychomum5 Sun 03-Aug-08 09:29:34

I think they continue needing it all until they stop growing.

don;t forget, their bones are still rapidly growing each day (well, unless they are like mine and get 'stuck' for months and then seem to grow a foot overnighthmm)....and they need the full-fat and calcium.

and most especially girls, and they lose it more as adults, so you need to build up a good base for their bones.

adult diet is exactly a 5yo child is nowhere near needing that yet.

keep them on full-fat milk and cheese as lomg as they enjoy it.

Dilberta Sun 03-Aug-08 09:31:36

more green vegetables and less milk I reckon. then they get calcium.
None of mine ever drank milk or ate cheese.

roisin Sun 03-Aug-08 09:52:11

We switched to half-fat when they were about 5.

Neither of my two would drink milk, so I was a bit concerned about it. But when I looked at the equivalents (in yoghurt, cheese, milk-based puddings, etc.) they don't need a lot.

The target is 1 pt of milk (or equivalent) per day (more for teenage boys). But there is a surprisingly large amount of calcium in a very small piece of cheese.

There is some calcium in things like very dark green veg (eg spinach) and dried apricots. But this calcium is not so easily absorbed by the body, and the amounts are very small compared to dairy products.

Dilberta Sun 03-Aug-08 10:06:19

calcium in non-milk sources here

I just worry about advice to give cows milk to small children. Its been shown to increase the risk of juvenile diabetes. Even Dr Spock doesn't recommend cows milk for children anymore.
Just my vegan opinion and the mother of children who are allergic to dairy.

Tinkjon Sun 03-Aug-08 12:29:19

Thanks for the replies. psychomum5, but after age 5 children can have skimmed milk ('can', not 'should') so surely it's ok for them to have low-fat at that age or they wouldn't tell you it's safe? I thought the point was that they needed lots of calories whilst still gorwing but that you were supposed to cut down on getting those calories from high fat foods. Or maybe I'm confusing it with moving away from saturated fats? I just seem to remember reading something about it somewhere.

Dilberta, I just read up the cows milk/diabetes thing. Oh FFS, I even have to worry about milk now?!?! There's already too much to worry about with feeding children, I can't believe something that I've taken so completely for granted is now also apparently risky

TheProvincialLady Sun 03-Aug-08 12:42:21

I can't understand anyone eating low fat cheese, it's vile. Surely the object of the game is to have a healthy, balanced diet? So a bit less full fat cheese if the diet has been heavy in fat one day, or a bit more if it has been a low fat day. And as for milk - I would think that the general calorie intake and energy expenditure, plus the amount of milk they like to drink, would all play a part. FWIW everyone I knew drank full fat milk when I was a child, but I think there was a lot less crisp and general junk eating. That is the kind of fat to avoid, not healthy fats in proper foods (in moderation).

I think that starting children on low fat/low sugar versions of normal foods is a bad idea generally. Because it teaches you that you can eat more of something as it is less 'fattening', rather than enjoying the taste and texture of proper food in sensible amounts. Those kinds of foods have generally been adulterated with all kinds of other rubbish too.

largeginandtonic Sun 03-Aug-08 12:51:19

Good grief children need a different diet to adults? I mean i am not giving them vino blanc with their tea but mine eat exactly what we do.

I make the food so limit the salt but everything else is the same. The baby (1) is on full fat milk but all the others have been on semi skimmed since they were 3.

Some will still drink milk others not but they all eat yoghurt, cheese etc so i don't even think about the calcium intake.

gagarin Sun 03-Aug-08 12:56:19

Tinkjon - it's not that fullfat cheese is bad for children over 5 but an extreme lowfat diet is not good for children under 5!

So that if as a family you drink skimmed milk, have low fat cheese and fatfree yogs etc then from 5 your dcs can join you in the family diet.

If however you all drink semiskimmed, have normal cheese and yogs then your dcs will have been having that alongside the rest of the family since at least 2 so there's no need to change anything about the diet when they get to 5yrs.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 03-Aug-08 13:05:52

I don't think an extreme low fat diet is good for anyone - there's more evidence these days that obesity (and diabetes, of course) is caused by high-gi diets, so diets high in white carb and sugar.

Tinkjon Sun 03-Aug-08 22:45:54

ProvincialLady, full-fat products are linked to heart disease though - the American thingummy people (like our Food Standards Agency) recommend that children switch to low-fat when they are 2.

largeG&T, yes, babies and small children need a different diet in some respects to an adult - that's a given! My query was only when to switch. A did a bit of Googling and Canadian people also apparently recommend that children over the age of 2 switch to low-fat products.

Habbibu Sun 03-Aug-08 22:49:54

God, low fat stuff is vile, though - I'd be much more in favour of reducing quantities of high fat food than using low fat.

PrincessPeaHead Sun 03-Aug-08 22:52:54

mine are all super skinny so it is full fat everything all the way and double cream on top

If yours tend towards the chunkier then I might consider moving to semi skimmed milk but I can't think of anything viler than low-fat cheese. Eurgh! Give 'em less of the normal stuff

MsDemeanor Sun 03-Aug-08 23:15:59

Full fat milk is horrible though. Ugh. Sticks to the roof of your mouth in cloying way.
We all have skimmed or semi-skimmed. I also think that it's good to get a taste for the lower fat versions as full fat milk isn't terribly good for you.
Cheese has to be full-fat, obviously, or is revolting.

TheProvincialLady Mon 04-Aug-08 17:04:57

Tinkjon - not sure I'd take advice from the most obese country in the worldgrin In most of Europe people eat full fat everything but they also eat lots of lean meat, fish and vegetables. A lot less stuff is processed. Hardly anyone is obese, compared to the USA/GB model of eating where you stuff your face with processed food made to feel healthier by labelling it 'low fat', when they would actually be better off labelled 'low nutrition, rubbish taste'! That's my take on it.

bozza Mon 04-Aug-08 17:18:47

I do semi-skimmed milk from age 2 but full fat cheese and yoghurts. Mine are 7 and 4 and on the skinny side of average.

Tinkjon Mon 04-Aug-08 17:40:45

ProvincialLady I don't think it's just about weight though - I think you could be the perfect-weight but still have an increased risk or heart disease if you eat too much of certain fats - that's the bit I am thinking about, not the weight part.

TheProvincialLady Mon 04-Aug-08 19:18:47

Well that is very true (presents as evidence size 6 self who eats a minimum of 2 bars a chocolate a dayblush). I think a balance is what is required - olive oil rather than lard for cooking and not slathering everything in butter and cream. I am sure that if you think about it this much, you are already feeding your children a healthy dietsmile

Tinkjon Mon 04-Aug-08 20:55:40

See, this is exactly what I mean - babies are supposed to have things smothered in butter and cream but adults aren't!

Btw, I don't know whether I'm more envy of the size 6 or the 2 choccie bars a day

TeeBee Mon 04-Aug-08 21:02:06

Actually, I think there is more calcium in skimmed milk than in full fat or semi-skimmed.

Tinkjon Tue 05-Aug-08 08:15:44

You're right, TeeBee. Well, I know that semi-skimmed definitely has more than full-fat, I wasn't sure about skimmed though.

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