As soon as children get family food, most of them have it on their daily diet: cow’s milk. But which variety is suitable, which one should you take?
Which type of milk for children?
The many names are pretty confusing. Nutritionist Maria Flothkötter from the Gesund ins Leben network in Bonn helps with orientation.
Heat raw milk and preferred milk beforehand
Raw milk is available directly from the farmer. It is filtered and cooled, but not heated or changed in fat content. The same applies to preferred milk. It is bottled at the producer and can be sold in the supermarket. “Children are only allowed to drink both varieties if they have been heated to at least 68 degrees Celsius for ten minutes before consumption. This kills the germs,”
Fresh, ESL and long-life milk has already been heated
Fresh milk is gently heated in the dairy, which removes germs, but spares many vitamins. It is also homogenized, the fat is evenly distributed, which makes the milk easier to digest. Fresh milk can be kept unopened in the refrigerator for up to ten days.
Extended Shelf Life milk, ESL milk for short, is fresh milk that is kept longer by a special heat process (unopened for up to three weeks).
Ultra-high-temperature milk can be kept for up to six months without refrigeration. Once the package is opened, it must be stored in the refrigerator and emptied within about five days.
Reduced fat or whole milk? A matter of taste!
For hay milk, cows mainly get grass, hay, and legumes (vegetable fodder), but no silage. Pasture milk differs when it comes to keeping it. These cows spend a lot of time in the pasture in the fresh air instead of in the barn. There is no uniform regulation of how many days they should be on the pasture.
Whether reduced-fat or whole milk, that’s a matter of taste. Milk with 3.5 percent fat contains one and a half times as many calories as semi-skimmed milk with 1.5 percent fat, but twice as many fat-soluble vitamins. In terms of calcium content, the types of milk are about the same. Skimmed milk contains 0.5 percent fat, but fewer vitamins A, D and E. It is not suitable for young children and babies.
No skimmed milk for children
Conclusion: Except for skimmed milk, children who are not allergic to cow’s milk can drink all of the mentioned cow’s milk when properly prepared and stored (raw and preferred milk can only be heated well!). “Which family decides on depends more on what is practicable in everyday life, how much money you want to spend and whether sustainability and animal welfare are an issue,”.