World Milk Day is marked annually on June 1. Initiated by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Milk Day is aimed at encouraging people to consume quality food that enables them to lead active, healthy lives, which is in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals. The Jakarta Post presents a special report looking at the importance of drinking milk.
Not only does milk help children grow, but this nutrient-rich beverage is also essential for adults to maintain health.
Children, particularly those at an early age, are in need of proper nutritional intake. And milk contains the right ingredients to substantially promote the growth of their muscles, bones, teeth and brain.
Pediatricians and nutritionists agree that the mineral, calcium and vitamins contained in milk are balanced with a proportion of the necessary carbohydrates and protein. Moreover, the high content of vitamin D in milk is a key component to bone structure, bone recovery and bone health in addition to maintaining the health of teeth.
Dr. Abu Purwanto said that drinking less milk than required could lead to malnourishment in children. In many cases, malnourished children are more likely to do poorly at school.
With more than three decades of pediatrics under his belt, Abu advised that the habit of drinking milk should be started at the age of two years. In addition to nutrients for babies like cereal, parents can also provide their baby with milk.
Prior to the age of two, according to Abu, a baby should only consume breast milk. Between the ages of two and six, a child enters a new phase of nourishment needs where parents need to pay special attention to make sure their child has a healthy dairy intake. “During this phase, consuming milk significantly contributes to the growth of a child,” he asserted.
Milk is also essential for adults to maintain their level of fitness and to remain healthy. People always need calcium regardless of their age. According to a study by the Department of Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, milk contains nutritional needs that create a well-balanced and nutritious meal.
In addition, milk can reduce the risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis; and the high calcium contained in the drink can boost stamina, particularly in pregnant women.
Nevertheless, the study indicates that an adult should not consume more than three standard glasses or 700 ml of milk a day. Over consumption of milk products can have negative side effects such as cramping and diarrhea.
All in all, milk does a body good. As a result, various kinds of milk products are offered on the market. In spite of the brands, it is important that a customer chooses only high quality nutritious milk products.
One of the leading milk manufacturers, Greenfields, is among those striving to meet the toughest world standards of quality milk. In fact, Greenfields is one of just a few that produce high quality natural milk in Indonesia.
Set up by Australian farmers who cooperated with an Indonesian agricultural company, Greenfields has a farm at Babadan village, Gunung Kawi, Malang, East Java. Striving to win the ever-increasing global competition of producing the best quality of natural milk products, Greenfields imports specially selected cows from Australia – crossbred with Freisian Holstein stock.
The products concentrate on the plain milk with various levels of fat content, and some enriched by flavors such as chocomalt. The flavors create a delightful taste for both children and adults without reducing the goodness of the naturally nutritious milk. First launched in 2001, Greenfields products have been widely sold throughout Indonesia since 2002. The company also exports its products to Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Maldives.
Amid the broad range of brands available, it is also important to consume milk products containing high levels of calcium. Many Indonesian adults, many of whom are women, reportedly consume less calcium than the human body requires. From the daily requirement of 1,000 mg of calcium, most Indonesian women only consume between 270 to 500 mg of calcium every day, according to joint research by Seameo Tropmed Regional Center for Community Nutrition, the University of Indonesia and the University of Otago, New Zealand.
In line with this condition, Fonterra Brands Indonesia – a reputable company producing high quality dairy products – recently launched Anlene One-a-Day, which contains 500 mg of calcium per serving. “The calcium contained is four times higher than regular milk,” Heru Kuntjoro, Fonterra’s marketing director, said.
Based on data from the Indonesian Nutritional Research Center (Puslitbang Gizi), two out of every five Indonesian women are at risk of osteoporosis.
Headquartered in New Zealand, Arlene is one of the milk products specially formulated for adults to boost bone health. With more than 15 years of an outstanding record as an excellent product, Arlene is widely sold in 13 countries across Asia and Australasia.
Besides Anlene One-a-Day, the company produces Anlene Actifit and Anlene Gold, each of which is respectively designed for 19 to 50 year olds and over 50 year olds. All the products are scientifically formulated with essential bone nutrients such as vitamin D, zinc and magnesium.
By Aulia Rachmat Sungkar. Published in The Jakarta Post on June 1, 2010.