Parents struggle to encourage children’s dairy consumption

Posted by Josette Dunn on 9th February 2011

One in five parents find it difficult to encourage children to consume three serves of dairy a day, a Newspoll Children & Dairy survey commissioned by dairy company, Fonterra, has found.Parents in NSW and Victoria find it the most difficult at 29 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Teenagers are least likely to consume three serves of dairy, with 16 to 17 year olds at 26 per cent followed by 13 to 15 year olds at 24 per cent.

Kim Tikellis, Fonterra’s Accredited Nutritionist says these findings support the most recent Australian Nutrition Survey which showed an alarming 82 to 89 per cent of girls aged 12 to 16 did not meet the estimated average requirement (EAR) for calcium.

“It is well established that dairy foods are one of the richest sources of dietary calcium and calcium intake during younger years influences bone health later throughout life,” she says.

“Back to school is a key time to highlight these findings, as parents are met with hungry teenagers returning home after an intensive day of learning at school.

“The school years are a critical time for building peak bone mass and including three serves of dairy every day will ensure children get the calcium they need for strong bones and teeth.

“Encouraging your child to eat three serves of dairy really is as easy as 1, 2, 3 – a glass of milk, a tub of yoghurt and two slices of cheese¹,” says Ms Tikellis.

Top tips for beating the after school munchies:

* Banana, honey and cinnamon smoothie
* Melted cheese on wholegrain toast
* Fresh fruit salad and lite vanilla yoghurt
* Baked bean, shredded cheese and tomato wraps
* Hot chocolate and muesli slice
* Lebanese bread pizza with cheese, ham and pineapple
* Individual chicken, leek and cheese quiche
* Savoury cheese and zucchini muffins

¹A serve of dairy is a cup of milk, a tub of yoghurt or 2 slices (40g) of cheese – source Dairy Australia