My kids drink a lot of Milo. Is it actually good for them?
Q: "I would like to know if you could give me some advice. How good is the good old Milo for kids – especially if they drink a lot of it with milk?"
A: Nutritionist Bronwen King responds:
"Health professionals have categorised drinks for children using a traffic light system. The only drinks with a green light, ie drink freely, are water and low-fat milk*. Other drinks are not recommended because they contain sugar or other additives that are not so good for health. Flavoured milks (I would include Milo made with milk here) are in the amber category along with flavoured water, diet drinks and fruit juice. It is recommended that children drink no more than 250mls (1 cup) total from this category per day. This means a cup of fruit juice OR a cup of flavoured milk, not both.
Because Milo powder does contain useful nutrients (iron and calcium), when made with mainly water it is generally a better choice than other sweetened or diet drinks. Making it with milk improves the nutrient value, but drinking milk without flavouring is always a better habit to encourage.
It is also important to remember that while milk is an excellent food for children, it is just one of the foods they need each day. Children consuming too much milk (more than 2 cups a day) are at risk of missing out on other important foods because the milk fills them up. In summary, Milo made with milk can be a useful food for children, but limit to 1 cup each day (and restrict other sweetened drinks) and have as part of a varied and balanced diet."*For children under two, regular (full-fat) milk is recommended.