As Cash’s one year birthday nears, one of the milestone changes we’ll implement is weaning him from his momma’s milk to cow’s milk.
As his father who comes from a dairy farm family dating back to the early 1900s, I am proud to assist in the transition my son into the family and the state’s livelihood and heritage.
Cash fast became a dairy connoisseur devouring cheese from the first moment it swirled amongst his taste buds. These days, the little guy has no problem downing an entire piece of string cheese, one nibble at a time.
I’ve been known to milk puns about the dairy important role milk plays in a healthy diet. Or how udderly crucial it is in delivering calcium. I butter not do that though before I’m met with lactose intolerance or put you in a bad moo’d.
Wisconsin farms produce over three billion gallons of milk a year and my boy will be drinking 2 and a half cups a day. We’ll be serving him whole milk, none of that weird, bluish-hued nonfat nonsense.
Heck, I pretty much drank milk directly from the cow’s teat as a kid. My dad and I would drive over to the farm with empty plastic pitchers, walk into the milk house and scoop into the creamy milk that filled the stainless steel tank when the large stirring blade allowed.
We’d go home consume and a few days later, come back and repeat. Call it our family convenience store.
I didn’t realize the quality of the milk I was drinking until one morning after spending the night at a friend’s for a sleepover, I spit out my first bite of cereal. “Who put water in here?!” To which my friend’s mom looked at me quizzically and said, “That’s 2% milk.” Geesh, if 2% milk tasted like water…what was I drinking on a regular basis?! Half and half?
As a husband, I’m happy to “free the breast” of my wife. While Meghan has treasured her time breastfeeding Cash, bonding and nurturing, she looks forward to no longer having the sleep-deprived “soothings” several times throughout the night. She no longer has to be the sole provider of sustenance for his milk wants and needs. Time for daddy to step up to the bottle.
*side note: For those small few who argue against drinking cow’s milk or the milk of another animal, “we humans are the only “animals” who drink the milk of another animal.” I would agree and only also add, “yes, and we humans are the only “animals” who have rocketed to the moon, invented the internet and composed symphonies…so good enough for this human animal.
I have no problem with alternative milks-such as almond and soy-other than terming them “milk.” Just because you can secrete fluid from an object doesn’t mean you should call that fluid “milk.” We don’t do it for oranges and we shouldn’t for legumes, nuts and drupes either.
Anyway, cow’s milk is important in a child’s development. It is a rich source of the chemical element, calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth and regulates blood clotting and muscle control. And it’s one of the few sources of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and is crucial for bone growth.
Milk also provides carbohydrates and protein for growth and energy. There’s evidence that with early introduction to calcium, children have a lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke, colon cancer, and hip fractures later in life.
And later in life, if Cash is anything like his old man, cereal will be a main subsistence, sometimes utilized for a few meals and snacks per day!
Milk, it does a baby body good.