Milk, the ally of the balanced growth of preschool and school children

Milk, the ally of the balanced growth of preschool and school children

The balanced diet is learned at preschool and school age

Tetra Pak, a leader in the food processing and packaging industry, continues its efforts to promote balanced nutrition and the benefits of milk consumption in preschool and school children. The campaign aims to contribute to raising the level of information of parents and teachers about the nutritional needs of children and preschoolers and about how good eating habits are formed and encouraged in the family, in kindergartens and schools.

"Through the Tetra Pak campaign we want to remind you what are the main benefits of a healthy diet and why at international and European level efforts are being made to promote these principles through programs aimed at children of preschool and school age. There are studies that show that, in Romania, we do not give enough importance to the balanced diet and consume one of the smallest quantities of milk packed in the EU - only 32 ml of milk packed per day, per person, in cases where the Romanian Nutrition Society recommends two or three servings. milk and daily derivatives, a portion of milk meaning a cup of milk.

Our research shows that only 43% of urban consumers eat breakfast daily or almost daily at home, half of them having children. Therefore, the habit of 'skipping' over breakfast is transmitted practically from the family. In addition, a few years ago, the MAMM study was carried out in collaboration with UMF Cluj and with Danone's support, according to which it was found that 93% of preschool children had a daily calcium intake below the recommended level, "says Cristina Dumitru , Communications Manager SEE, Tetra Pak South Eastern Europe.

What the specialists say

Along with a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, the child should be encouraged to move, play, depending on age to participate in activities that stimulate him physically and intellectually to develop harmoniously and balanced . Milk is an essential food for the harmonious growth and development of preschool and school children due to the content of micro and macronutrients such as proteins, calcium, phosphorus. The milk must be packaged because it is sterile, ie it was veterinary-controlled and, through the high temperature packing process, all potential germs were destroyed without affecting the milk composition.

"Preschool and school children are advised to consume two to three servings of milk and dairy products per day (one serving of milk, meaning one cup of milk), to provide them with the daily calcium, phosphorus and protein needs. The child's body needs nutrients. quality for a harmonious growth and development, but there are studies in which it has been found that the nutrition of children between 3 and 6 years is mainly deficient in calcium and iron, without ensuring the daily calcium requirement of 800 mg, there is the risk of developing rickets and hypocalcemia respectively.

Therefore, at European level it is recommended to inform parents, teachers and children about the optimum nutritionally balanced nutrition, in order to maintain their health. Because milk is an important source of essential nutrients, it was the first proposal of the European Union, of subsidized food, to be offered to children in kindergartens and schools as a snack, in order to prevent diseases caused by calcium deficiency, "he recommends. Prof. dr. Gabriela Radulian, primary diabetes doctor, nutrition and metabolic diseases.

"The child must be taught by the little one to acquire healthy and balanced eating habits by creating food rituals regarding the number of meals per day, if possible their schedule, the place where they eat and especially what they eat. This can be done in especially through the family model that should be supported in kindergarten and school. If a child receives milk, dairy products, vegetables, fruits from the first years of life, he sees them daily on his table, then entering the educational system, continues to consume them daily, will get used to this diet, thus creating healthy habits that will continue as a teenager and adult.

That is why it is very important for parents to get involved not only at home, but also in kindergarten and school, to ask for information about their child's menu, to say NO to the products that the home does not offer to the child, if they consider them less healthy, to be always present and aware that the efforts to teach the child are continuous because education for a healthy life is one of the most important legacies that a parent can pass on to his or her child. It is good not to give up these principles related to nutrition neither under the pressure of the social environment nor during the periods (naturally, otherwise) of rebellion of the child, specific to certain ages ", declares Cristiana Haica, psychologist.

Children and adolescents have a higher need for calcium, so milk is one of the first food options. Prevention of rickets is very important in children, from the first days of life, therefore milk containing about 125 mg of calcium per 100 ml, it is important to be part of the balanced nutrition of the child.

The need for calcium in children is very high, as follows:

  • Child 0-12 months - 400-800 mg / day
  • Child 1-3 years - 500 mg / day
  • Child 4-8 years - 800 mg / day
  • Puberty - 1300 mg / day

Ideally, mothers should be helped to breastfeed their newborn baby as much as possible, and gradually, in diversification, be introduced foods such as vegetables, fruits, dairy products, milk remaining essential food to be consumed daily, including in adolescence.

About the campaign

The "Milk, the ally of the balanced growth of preschool and school children" campaign initiated by Tetra Pak is part of the strategic program to promote the consumption of packaged milk among preschool and school children, as part of a balanced diet, complementing the efforts made within the European program "Milk in Schools" and within the framework of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) initiatives.

In previous years, this program initiated by Tetra Pak included from school visits and discussions with students and teachers, seminars held with the help of family doctors for children, families and teachers, competitions organized in schools nationwide in partnership with The Ministry of Education and debates together with specialists, representatives of the authorities (the Ministries of Education and Health, the Institute of Public Health), the mass media and some non-governmental organizations that carry out children's education activities.

This year, in addition to activities aimed at informing about the benefits of packaged milk consumption for preschool and school children, Tetra Pak will also launch a competition for students that will be available on the website

The guide for healthy eating was prepared by the Romanian Nutrition Society and published in 2008; The electronic version is available on the website of the Ministry of Health: Guide to healthy eating