Dietitian TAN HOOI PHING offers some creative tips to encourage milk drinking in children.
PICTURE this: "Tommy please come here and drink your milk!" cajoles his mother for the umpteenth time. When Tommy can no longer run away from mummy’s clutches, he will either reluctantly drink the milk, moaning and groaning all the way; drink a bit and pour the rest away when mummy turns her head; or rant and rave hoping to get away without drinking his milk.
I am sure your child does that to you, too. These days, with so many types of drinks in the market that are a whole lot more exciting than “plain old milk”, one can hardly blame children for not wanting to drink milk. Milk inadvertently ends up being last on the list of preferred beverages.
Yes, as parents we have heard it many times: milk supplies all the essential nutrients needed by our children and it’s probably the best beverage for them. But think about it, just because milk serves to build strong bones, helps in brain development, aids in growth of body tissues, and has many other benefits, do our children really understand all this or even bother at their young age?
As parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure our children get the best from their diet. To top it all off, children tend to drink less milk as they start going to school. There are so many other things sold in schools. Unless of course, they are part of their school’s milk feeding programme which is conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.
So parents, you are in quite a dilemma, but all is not lost. As in all things, there are ways to get around the problem.
Put on your creative caps, aprons and think about this ? why not make your child's milk drinking a fun and tasty activity for them?
How do you do that? Here are some simple yet creative ways of convincing your child to drink milk. Your children are going to enjoy these simple yet nutritious delights. Furthermore, you can even involve your kids in the preparation and spend quality time with them.
Set sail with these tasty little boats. Cut a baked potato in half, scoop the insides out in a bowl. Mash in cheese, milk and butter. Spoon the mixture back into the skins. Warm for two minutes on high in the microwave. Decorate halves with broccoli topped with shredded cheese.
Tempt kids with this fun spider treat. Make a cracker sandwich with two rounds of crackers and cheese. Insert the pretzel “legs” into the filling. With a dab of canned cheese, set raisin eyes on top.
Kids will see the ocean with these fun sailboat sandwiches. Simply slice off the top of a dinner roll and hollow out. Fill the rolls with yoghurt-based tuna or chicken salad or any other filling children like. Slice Cheddar cheese into rectangles about 1/8 inches thick and cut the rectangles on the diagonal to make triangles.
Insert a toothpick into each triangle to make little sails and add them to the top of your boats.
Be sure to put on a blue plate to create a water affect. Watch the children dive in.
Make your child’s favourite grilled cheese sandwich. Use a fish shaped cookie cutter to cut out the sandwich.
Be sure to add gold fish crackers and gummy worms on the side. Serve with tomato soup made from milk for a fun fish treat.
These four recommended recipes will tempt your child's palate. No more fuss, no more nagging, and best of all, no more worries.
The final recipe is suitable for both parents and children to enjoy as a family. The Hot Milk Sponge Cake is guaranteed to make your tummy rumble.
The ingredients are as follows: 1 cup of sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup of flour, sifted, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of flavoring (vanilla), 1 tablespoon of butter and ½ cup of hot milk.
Break eggs into bowl; beat with a beater until very light and lemon colour. Add sugar gradually and beat well. Heat milk with butter to almost scalding. Add flour and baking powder to the sugar mixture; blend well, add hot milk and flavouring.
Bake at 375 degrees Celsius, using either a 9-inch square pan or a tube pan. When cake springs up at the touch, remove from oven and turn upside down on funnel to cool.
That is not all. What is a nice cake without a drink to go along with it?
This smoothie drink ought to do the trick. Known as the Peaches and Cream Smoothie, it is not hard to make at all. The ingredients include 1 packet instant oatmeal, 8 ounces fat free milk, 1 peach, canned in natural juice or fresh peach pitted, 1 scoop vanilla low fat yoghurt, 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract, ½ tsp. grated orange zest or 1 tsp orange marmalade and 4 or 5 ice cubes.
All you need to do is to combine all the ingredients and blend away until it becomes smooth in texture.
Now, parents, with all these recipes at your fingertips, your child will find it hard to resist the temptation of having milk as part of their diet.
They certainly won’t claim that milk is boring anymore.