What to Do When Your Child Won’t Drink Milk

What To Do When Your Child Won’t Drink Milk

Thank you to Kitchen PLAY for partnering with us on this post. 

When I was growing up we always drank a glass of ice water with our dinner.

The reason was that my dad hated the taste of milk and often told us how as a little boy he had to sit at the table until he had finished his glass of milk every night.

The longer he sat, the warmer, it got.

The warmer it got, the worse it tasted!

To this day he can’t drink a glass of milk. Isn’t that a sad story?!  Though it’s hard to picture my kind, loving grandparents in that scenario, Dad says its true.

So what about those of you who may have children with an intolerance or dislike for milk and dairy products? What to do??

How about giving them a bowl of cheerios?

Or maybe a bagel or piece of white bread? Hot dogs? Or take them to Subway for a sandwich?

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Yes, believe it or not, all those products can help provide the daily recommended amounts of calcium that children and adults need. Here’s how.

Each of the food products I just mentioned are calcium-fortified.  And when you have a child who doesn’t like or can’t tolerate milk, calcium-fortified baked goods can be a lifesaver.

Whether packing a lunch for school, grabbing food on a road trip, or fueling up for practice, sandwiches made with calcium-fortified bread provide important nutrients for  healthy bone growth–and help reduce the dinnertime-guilt we sometimes feel as parents when feeding our families on the go.

But not all bread is calcium-fortified.

Be sure to check the back of the loaf to find out the nutrients each serving provides.

Sara Lee’s Soft & Smooth White made with whole grain bread delivers an excellent level of calcium–25 percent of the daily recommended value–in just two slices.  One Sara Lee mini bagel contains 20 percent of the daily recommended value.  And what child doesn’t like those little bagels!

Ball Park Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns each contain 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium in one serving.  Calcium-fortified breads are great for picky eaters, since you can’t even taste the calcium. The flavor and texture are the same as breads that aren’t fortified.

Many cereals are also calcium-fortified. But once again be sure to check the nutrition panel to find out if the ones you like contain calcium, and how much.

Keep in mind that according to the FDA, a product with 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium per serving is considered to be a good source of calcium; a product with 20 percent is considered to be an excellent source of calcium, and a product that delivers the same amount of calcium as an 8 oz. glass of milk is said to deliver a “glass-of-milk level” of calcium. One serving of Honey Nut Cheerios (Oliver’s favorite) contains 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium.

But what about those days when making a meal at home  just isn’t on the menu? You might be surprised as I was to learn that some fast food shops such as Subway can help out with nutrients you weren’t aware of. Each 6-inch sandwich includes the equivalent amount of calcium as a glass of milk when made with any of the rolls available at Subway.

My five-year-old Jack recently went to Subway for lunch with Grammy and Grandpa. He chose his own sandwich fixings–ham, bacon, pepperoni, shredded cheese, pickles, and barbecue sauce.


As a mom it’s important to me to do what I can to help ensure my boys develop strong and healthy bones during their childhoods, and maintain them into adulthood. Consuming recommended amounts of calcium is key to doing so.

It looks like Grandpa finally found a way to get a glass-of-milk size amount of calcium without drinking any milk!

So if you find yourself with a child who doesn’t like milk, stop the mom guilt. You can make sure they are getting enough calcium other ways – you just have to get a little creative!



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  • I can't imagine not being able to enjoy a glass of milk (and oddly I enjoy it slightly warm sometimes, lol, but have a couple family members who can not drink milk, so I appreciate you sharing alternatives to milk and how to get the needed nutrients that milk normally provides.
  • It's so great that various food items are calcium fortified for those who don't like/won't drink milk! I actually love milk, but I still like to make sure I have lots of calcium in my diet as it's so important and I have a lot of health issues, so to me staying healthy and making sure I get my vits and minerals is a must!

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