My morning begins like this. I wake up and make a pot of coffee. Then I decide whether I want to make an involved breakfast where I have to get out a bunch of ingredients and make a mess in my kitchen. The alternative? Set cereal out with a jug of milk for the kids. Most of the time, it is the latter of the two. Either way, milk is a huge part of my morning routine from the very beginning. I put milk in my coffee and almost every recipe known to humankind uses milk.
Milk has long been a staple for diet. I recently read a bunch of books with my kids about the frontier days and every single novel at some point describes the difficult task of not only milking the cows, but transporting the milk back to the house without spilling a drop. The people that have come before us valued milk and saw its importance, and we still do today.
And for good reason.
An 8 ounce glass of milk carries 8 grams of protein. Why is protein an important of a healthy diet? All cells in the human body need protein. These cells are are broken down and used up and need to be replaced. The protein in our food and drinks that we intake are turned into amino acids and replace the proteins that were broken down and used up in our bodies.
According to the CDC, kids between the ages of 1-3 need 13 grams of protein and ages 4-8 need 19 grams of protein. Children ages 9-13 need 34 grams of protein and after that gender plays a role in how much protein is required. Girls 14-18 need 46 grams of protein per day whereas boys of the same age need 52 grams of protein. Women over the age of 19 should intake 46 grams of protein a day and men in that age bracket should receive 56 grams of protein a day.
Those are some big numbers, but starting the day with a glass of milk goes a long way to replacing lost protein.
My family is very active. We have soccer twice a week and have Tae Kwon Do twice a week. In addition, we play outside, wrestle, bike, and generally exercise and have fun moving our bodies. It would be impossible for us to have the lifestyle that we have and the health that we do without our daily intake of protein.
Unfortunately, many kids this summer will not have the same nutritional advantage as my kids. It is believed that more than 22 million kids will miss out on receiving adequate nutrition after school lets out. Those kids that are going to miss out on starting their day with 8 grams of protein might miss out not only on similar ways to strengthen their bodies, but miss out on living a healthy life.
My 10 year old son volunteers at a local food pantry and stocks the shelf. (That’s right people, my son volunteers at a food pantry. What are you doing?) He told me about how quickly milk flies off the shelf; people come in and take it right away and there is never enough for everyone. This is one reason why I have decided to join Life of Dad and Milk Life in their #MilkDrive campaign to help raise money for Feeding America. You can donate to my team of Dads that are hoping to bring more milk and protein to America’s kids by donating here. I bet you could spare at least $5 to help some kids get some milk this summer.
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