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Don’t Stop Giving Children Milk ― Nutritionist

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Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Manager at Nestle Ghana, Mrs Margaret Mary Tohowenou has emphasised the need for children to be continually fed with milk.

According to her some mothers stop giving their children milk and other dairy products when the children pass the weaning stage.

“What we have seen is that usually for some mothers, when the child starts to eat banku and fufu at one year, one and half or two years, then we stop giving milk to the children but milk is very important for their growth because it comes with calcium, vitamin D needed for their bones and teeth to develop,” she said.

Speaking to the PUBLISHER on the importance of milk in a child’s development, Mrs Tohowenou said though after six months, milk feeds alone no longer provide all the nutrients and calories children need to grow and develop normally, taking it out completely may put children at a terrible health risk.

“For milk to be broken down there is an enzyme called lactase that does the breakdown so if you stop giving milk after sometime, the enzyme loses its ability to digest…eventually, the production of that enzyme diminishes because there is no milk to digest.

“So later when you introduce milk, getting the enzyme back and to work the way the body demands, might be an issue,” she explained.

Mrs Tohowenou therefore recommend that even after the child is grown, parents must continue to give their children so that the enzyme―lactase would still be working in order that the children do not encounter health challenges later.

“If you don’t have the enzyme it means when you consume milk, you will not be able to break it down. It stays there, bacterial works on it and it produces gas and it causes bloating and other implications,” she revealed.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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