As the “old” commercial goes: You never out grow your need for milk. That is true for seniors. Milk and other dairy products are needed for bone health. Milk provides calcium and Vitamin D needed to maintain bone. Dairy products also contain protein, Vitamin A and potassium which our body needs.
The dairy products should be low-fat or fat-free products. Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurts and cheeses are good options. Seniors should consume 3 cups per day. 1 cup milk is equal to:
• - 1 cup yogurt
- 1-1 ½ ounces cheese (size of 4 dice)
If seniors can’t drink milk because of a lactose intolerance or milk intolerance, they can:
• - Drink acidophilus milk or lactose free milk, eat yogurt made with active cultures, or eat hard cheeses such as cheddar or swiss.
• - Mix milk with other food, i.e. milk and cereal or puddings.
• - Drink small portions of milk throughout day—research shows limited to no side effects from the intolerance
If still cannot consume dairy products, use juices fortified with calcium and Vitamin D or use the tablets with lactase in them to counter the lactose in the milk.