The Intricate Connection Between Dairy and Childhood

In most Indian households, dairy plays a very important role in the daily dietary chart and food preferences. From Tea (chai) for adults to a whole glass of milk every day for the kids, dairy products have reserved a special place in our palates. 

Not being allowed to step outside the home without having our milk, to watching mothers and grandmothers lathering up the rotis in pure desi ghee because haddiyan mazoboot hongi - translation - your bones will grow stronger, dairy products have been an intricate part of many Indian childhood stories. 

The Taste Of Milk

Milk was and continues to be a non-negotiable beverage given to most children in order to help them grow and strengthen their bodies. A glass of milk before rushing off to play was standard practice for many. Whether to gulp it down in one go or take time in sipping it, consuming milk was an intricate part of growing up. 


Benefits of Milk for Children

  1. It is rich in calcium which promotes bone health, reduces the chances of migraines, and prevents childhood obesity. 

  2. Gives growth to healthy teeth.

  3. Good for the heart. 

  4. Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, D, B12, and phosphorus to name a few. 

The Makkhan Mischief

Not only Krishna but many other kids have tried sneaking in their hands in butter, be it freshly churned white butter or bought from a nearby shop. The taste of makkhan on roti or bread, became an important part of the daily meal that could tolerate no compromises. Even toddlers often reach out to butters after having a taste because of their natural need to fill up on nutrients that they may not receive from their mother’s milk. 

Benefits of Butter for Kids

Following are the reasons why you should consider butter for your kids - in moderation, of course.

  1. Source of healthy minerals like manganese and zinc which act as antioxidants. 

  2. Aids digestion. 

  3. Helps the body use calcium effectively as its anti-stiffness nutrients shelter from ‘calcification’.

  4. It's a source of healthy cholesterol. 

  5. Contains omega -3 and 6 fatty acids that help promote brain development. 

  6. Great for physical development.

  7. Helps strengthen the immune system. 

Buttermilk For The Hot Summer Days

Before the aerated drinks made their way into our fridges, mattha and chaas were the in-house cold drinks on hot summer days. After playing for hours under the sun, the cool and delicious taste of buttermilk was an indescribable feeling! Made by adding mint leaves, Jeera, and salt to diluted curd (mostly), this traditional beverage continues to top the list for many.

Benefits of Buttermilk

  1. It is filled with nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, protein and vitamin B12

  2. Buttermilk is great for digestion.

  3. Cools the body down.

  4. Made of zero chemicals.

  5. Keeps acidity at bay.

One Cup Of Dahi Everyday

Dahi or curd as we commonly know it, was a part of at least one meal a day, preferably lunch in order to avoid the afternoon heat from affecting the body. A katori of dahi everyday was a desired food and often given to children as they would rush off after a hearty meal. 

Curd also has a symbolic reference to good beginnings and luck. A spoonful of curd mixed with sugar crystals - known as dahi-cheeni was fed before every exam or any big event. The sweet tingling taste would last long and remind us that luck was on our side! 

Benefits of Dahi for Children

  1. The most important reason of all - dahi simplifies and aids digestion. 

  2. Great option for those with lactose intolerance.

  3. Enriched with calcium and proteins.

  4. Regulates body temperature. 

  5. Helps improve sleep quality. 

  6. Filled with good bacteria, this natural probiotic is great for gut health. 

Ghee Laden Rotis And Parathas

While today a ghee-laden roti might seem a bit much for a meal, it is not so uncommon to have these during our childhood. Perfect for those cold winter mornings or nights, topping up ghee on sizzling hot dal, roti, or sabzi (we loved it nevertheless), would be a simple yet lovely treat! These days, families have options to avail A2 desi cow ghee that are great for brain development and mental stimulation in children. 

Benefits of Ghee

  1. Ghee helps in brain development. This may be one of the reasons why expecting mothers are asked to include ghee in their daily diet. 

  2. Helps strengthen bones as the vitamin A from ghee helps absorb calcium. 

  3. Enriched with Vitamins A, D, E, and K.

  4. Burns at a higher temperature, thus, keeps the cooked food’s quality fresh for longer.

  5. It improves joint movement and adds flexibility to the muscular structure of the body. 

  6. Ghee helps aid digestion and is known to promote smooth bowel movement and reduce constipation. 

Paneer For Those Special Dinners

Most children love paneer. Be it in a curry form or fried snack to nibble on as they run around. On special occasions, the aroma of matar-paneer or paneer-makhani would fill the air, enticing children to sneak a taste! 

Benefits of Paneer

  1. Soft to eat, this is great for young kids who are still growing their baby teeth but need nourishment. 

  2. Encourage growth and development of children’s young minds and bodies. 

  3. Strengthens the immune system. 

  4. Packed with nutritive elements like vitamins, good fats, and proteins, paneer is a great food source to help gain weight, if needed. 

  5. It's a quick and healthy energy fix that works well for both kids and adults. 

  6. Strengthens teeth, bones, and cartilage tissues, thanks to the abundance of calcium and vitamin D.  

The innocent dairy products are not only a part of our diet or the palate but have many memories attached to them as well! This was a little walk down the memory lane - let us know what role did dairy play in your life while you were growing up!