Ask the Health Coach: Kids and Dairy

1 a practical health coachThe question was, “What about guidelines for kids and dairy?” I totally apologize for not being able to just rattle off an answer, but when it comes to nutrition and diet, there are people far smarter and more educated than I who can’t land. I recommend that if you only visit and read one of the sites below, make it the first one.

I want to applaud you for wanting to take such an active role in your child’s nutrition. So many people are happy to just go along. Taking a part can take time and cause you some angst … It’s a big responsibility when we are making dietary choices for our children. Read, read, read! It is my personal belief that dairy is unnecessary, and sometimes harmful.

There are a lot of articles and a study that reviews the findings of much research that show no good reason to encourage including dairy. Many children are either allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant and they thrive without it. Having said that, there is another side to the discussion and you need to consider both sides before you make a decision. The USDA pyramid gives dairy its own food group and has strict guidelines for the amount of dairy a child should have. Many physicians and pediatricians encourage parents to feed a certain amount of dairy. What is a health conscious parent to do?

  1. You could simply follow the USDA guidelines.
  2. You could read and research and come to your own decision.
  3. You could ask your physician.

For me, the first and third options just won’t work. I have read a lot about food, politics and lobbying and I believe that the American Dairy Association, among a long list of dairy organizations, are those responsible for giving our government and our physicians the ‘facts.’ Anyone who disagrees tends to be labeled an outsider or kook. The USDA was founded to support agriculture. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that it became responsible for setting dietary guidelines. Seems a bit like the foxes keeping an eye on the chickens. Here are some places to start on your search for your answer:

There’s a movie titled ‘Milk’ that presents a fair argument. If I recall correctly, it doesn’t lean too far in either direction. It is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix (I think). Google search any one of these names/organizations along with the word ‘dairy’ and you should find some pretty interesting information.

Dr. Marion Nestle (Food and Politics)

Dr. Andrew Weil

Weston-Price Foundation

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Dr. Neal Barnard

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Dr. David Katz

Dr. Mark Hyman

Good luck with your search. I truly hope that you find an answer that fills you with confidence and that just feels right for you and your children.

As always, if you would like help sorting things our along your journey, please give me a call (816-808-9405) or send me an email (

Blessings, Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle choices



2 thoughts on “Ask the Health Coach: Kids and Dairy

  1. Diana

    The food industry is rife with misinformation and straight out lies. It can be very confusing to know what to feed our families. This is a great article to help people make the decision that is right for them regarding dairy foods. Thanks Nancy.

    1. NancyO Post author

      You’re right, Diana. The misinformation can be very misleading. I highly recommend Dr. Marion Nestle for a greater understanding of how politics impacts how food is presented to the public. Dr. David Katz also seems to be focused on helping people to discern hype from reality. Thanks for the comment!


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