Raising children is anything but straightforward, and unfortunately it’s a task that comes without a guidebook. We all want the best for our children, for them to eat well, grow strong, sleep soundly at night and have the best start in life; yet in reality the little darlings can be fussy eaters, resistant sleepers and find the sweeter, naughtier things in life far more favourable than those that are good and healthy for them. And I can’t say I blame them! Alongside a healthy balanced diet the UK Department of Health recommends that all children between the age of one and five take additional daily supplements to safeguard them from nutritional deficiencies such as rickets and bone weakness. Which is where Arla have soared ahead of all others in the children’s market!
As a single parent I have to confess that nutritional guidelines and daily allowances make my mind boggle. I always ensure that my children have at least one piece of fruit per day, one vegetable and one source of meat as we lead a healthy active lifestyle and I believe in everything in moderation. I also supplement my children with a daily multivitamin, which admittedly we don’t always remember to take, they frustratingly contain a small amount of artificial sweetners and also add to our weekly shopping bill, yet they’re better than eating sweets.
Introducing new food to children can be very difficult, as little people seem to be creatures of habit, and when they decide that they like something they’ll ask to eat it everyday until the cows come home, but if they dislike it they’ll sooner throw a temper tantrum and kick up a fuss rather than giving it a second chance. Fortunately I raised my two children with the mindset to try everything at least once, because to me food is love and I like to provide my family with a healthy balanced diet as a foundation for their growth and development. With iron, vitamin A, vitamin D and calcium being the key nutritional requirements for children, Arla have ingeniously taken their delicious fresh whole milk and fortified it with vitamins to conveniently assist little ones in meeting their daily requirements.
My children absolutely love to drink milk, as I’d imagine the majority of babies and tots do too, and where some fussy eaters can snub their nose up at carrot sticks, cucumber slices, fresh greens and vegetables, by sipping just 300ml of Big Milk each day they’re automatically consuming everything they need. So there’s not as much pressure for pushing peas, concealing mashed up vegetables in sauces or tantrums at teatime, as it gives parents a little more slack to ease off and allow children to enjoy finger foods and eating at their own pace, because nutritional wise they’ve already got everything they need from their milk.
The importance of Arla adding these vitamins to their milk is vital for children, as vitamin A contributes to a toddlers normal development and growth keeping eyes, skin and the immune system healthy; and in order to consume it within a normal diet a child would have to eat meat, fish, dairy, sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium to maintain and develop strong bones, teeth and muscles which can be found mostly in oily fish and eggs, neither of which my children are overly keen on. And finally iron contributes to normal cognitive development, all of which are included in Arla’s Big Milk. Naturally, Big Milk should be used as part of a balanced diet to provide toddlers with the nutrition and goodness they require. And there’s plenty of fun and finger-licking-friendly recipes you can make with it too, from smoothies to ice cream and porridge.
With an RRP of £2.25 for 2litres in most leading supermarkets, Big Milk is a little more expensive than regular whole milk, yet when you consider the additional cost of purchasing children’s supplements and the hassle of ensuring they actually take them, Big Milk in fact works out at half the price of an infant formula conveniently with all of the goodness your little one needs. My 2yr old son Gabriele loves his Big Milk and it’s something the whole family can drink, not just little people. Children don’t stay children for long, so wether you supplement their diet, painstaking prepare and balance each meal, or switch your everyday family milk to a Big Milk bottle instead, nutrition is key to maintaining and developing a healthy lifestyle.