The Sherwood family gets plenty of milk with their meals.
"Probably two to three glasses a day," mom Melanie Sherwood said.
Milk is a great source of vitamin D and calcium, but a new study in the journal Pediatrics finds too much may be a bad thing. Researchers looked at more than 1,300 children ages 2 to 5 and found two cups of milk a day is enough to maintain vitamin D levels, more than that can affect iron levels.
"Excessive amounts of milk, which was more like three or four or more cups a day was associated with a decrease feritin level and feritin is associated with your iron stores in your body," said Dr. Suzanne Kaseta, a pediatrician.
Getting enough iron is important for children because it plays a critical role in early brain development. Low iron can also increase your risk for anemia.
Milk isn't the only way to get vitamin D. Fatty fish like salmon is a good source. So is the sun.
The study points out some children with dark skin may need supplements because their body doesn't make enough vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
Melanie Sherwood says she has no plans to limit milk in her house.
"What the doctor says is good is what I go by," she said.
And spending plenty of time outdoors also helps.
Whole milk is recommended for children under 2 years old because the fat in it helps brain development. After age 2, most pediatricians suggest switching to low fat milk that has all the same nutrients, without the fat.
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