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It’s Thrifty Tuesday! If you read my last post, you’ll see that I recommend a super el-cheapo “lemonaide” to get fluids into your children.

It got me to thinking, why do I insist on spending (literally) close to $50 a month on milk substitutes? Is it because:

1.  I think kids need milk to grow properly?
2.  I like milk subs & enjoy drinking them?
3.  I miss dairy from my diet & know they do as well & this is my guilty mommy complex?

Yes, all of the above. But, let’s debunk these “myths” I’ve told myself. Do kids need milk? No. Kids (and adults) need calcium. Are there better sources than milk to get calcium, not including a “pill”? There’s a great article about Calcium by the Harvard School of Public Health
that indicates, to me, that dairy milk isn’t the be all & end all for calcium.

Their chart suggests dark, leafy vegetables, beans, soy milk, oranges and almonds are all sources of calcium.  Sure, 24 almonds is only 70 mg of calcium & a healthy adult needs 1000 mg.  (Which HSPH isn’t clear that we actually need that much)  But, you’ll also notice, a glass of skim milk (1 cup) has 306 mg of calcium – meaning 3 glasses per day.  I never drank that much when I did dairy.  I’m not even sure my dairy adoring spouse gets that much.

Point being, if you want to ensure maximum calcium levels, you are going to need a supplement, even if it is just for 1/2 of your daily intake.  Also, all my milk subs (almond, dari-free, soy) have 33% of your daily calcium per 1 cup serving.  And, I do like a glass of “milk” at supper.  Maybe it’s a throwback to being a kid, but I like it.

BUT THIS IS THRIFTY TUESDAY (you shout)!  WHERE’S THE CHEAP TIP?

Ok – here you go.  Stop drinking so much milk sub.  Dari-free is a yeast promoter, almond milk is high in oxilates, hemp milk (IMHO) is gross, soy milk is now a no-no in my house.

So, that’s fine & good, you sniff.  What do I give my kids to drink that won’t bankrupt me? 

Water.  Flavoured water (with lemon or lime juice)
Diluted juice, start with 1/8 water to 7/8 juice & work down.  They won’t notice if you go gradually & eventually get to 50/50.
Sparkling water – my kids think it is “pop”
Dari-free, mixed a little thinner than the pkg directions, you’ll have to experiment
Herbal tea (hot or cold)

The point is, we need to be hydrated.  We should all drink more water, not $4.00 per litre milk substitutes.  Consider when and where you like your “milk” and see if water, juice or tea might fit instead. 

Oh, and watch for sales.  You never know when you can get a great deal!

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