After last’s week big shopping trip, we didn’t need to buy any groceries this week. Well, except for milk. But we decided to take our lessons learned from the Pantry Challenge to heart and went the entire week without buying milk.
And you know what? We survived just fine. The girls missed having cereal for breakfast and snacks, but we came up with creative alternatives and everyone was fine.
Next week, I’ll likely do another big stock-up trip since I’ve got some great coupons to use. Stay tuned for details on that.
(And yes, I know that some parents think that children cannot survive without milk. I completely understand where you’re coming from and respect your opinions. However, please don’t flip out over the fact that we don’t drink a lot of milk at our house. I’ve done a lot of research and don’t believe that milk is necessarily the best source of calcium or that one must drink an enormous amount of it for survival. So we choose to get our primary calcium from other sources. And we love you no matter whether you drink lots of milk or not!)
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no offense to anyone, but I could care less if your child drinks or doesnt drink milk. I don’t think she should *have* to add the disclaimer. It is her responsibly if her family chooses milk or not.
But I do think the disclaimer helped in the fact that not buying milk will cut back on grocery expenses.
We drink on avg. at least 3 gallons of milk a week. The cheapest milk here is @ Sams where it is a little under $4.00 so yes not buying milk will save $$$
We also buy cheese, yogurt etc so it’s not like we are replacing one with another. We have to buy it all.
I can keep my grocery budget down to $70-90 ish a week for a family of 4 with 2 school aged kids and a hubby that is 6 foot 5in, and that’s not including the lunch money they get for school. Our school has a good lunch program with fresh veggies and fruit (not canned) it’s well worth it for them to eat there since our school lunch program is very balanced.
I buy meat in bulk and it usually last me a few months, so that’s not including meat week that’s already purchase.
That is just milk, eggs, yogurts, cheese, fresh veggies and fruit, and the occasional pantry items etc.
We have a family garden (and fruit trees)but it is not year around, so we’re usually buying veggies/fruit until late spring or early summer when it is harvest time for us.
I have the great fortune of being both lactose intolerant AND allergic to milk. The process of making yogurt takes care of the lactose problem. I’m not sure how but it just doesn’t cause a problem. I do eat cheese because I can have some without experiencing problems. I used to just ignore it and drink regular cow’s milk but for the last month I’ve been drinking soy milk (but still eating regular cheese and yogurt at least once a day) and I’ve been feeling so much better. I’ll have to do some research on the soy issue because I had no clue that there could be a problem. I bought some almond milk a couple of weeks ago so I could try that as well but since it is shelf stable for a very long time I am waiting until I run out of coupons for soy milk.
I agree with you, Crystal, since I have never relied on the consumption of milk to meet my calcium needs. There are plenty of other ways to get it!
Oops…should say “in anticipation OF comments” above. I hate when I fly through my typing and make a mistake. I should have taken the advice I give to my children to slow down and double check.
I thought it was odd that you put the disclaimer at the end. Kind of like, where did that come from? It would never have crossed my mind to think anything about your family not drinking milk for a week even though my family goes through about 5 gallons a week. It’s sad that you (or anyone) has to set up a disclaimer in anticipation comments that should be left unsaid. I hope you don’t see much of those type comments or emails.
I’m the only big milk drinker in my family. My nephew won’t touch it but his pediatrician isn’t worried because E. loves yogurt and cheese and the occasional ice cream.
You shouldn’t rely on a single food to meet any nutritional need so all nutrients need to come from a variety of sources. Not everyone has the same tastes on food so every family needs to decide what is best for their family.
Wow, lots of milk input :o) My input, milk products have estrogens in them (perhaps added to cow feed to produce more milk) and some research says it is contributing to children developing earlier and earlier. Soy products effect the thyroid gland negatively, lots of research out there on it. I dont know what the answer is for parents, as clearly kids need calcium for bones and teeth and sadly doctors arent all that informed in nutrition. 3 docs will give 3 different answers.
I stressed for quite a while over the small amounts of milk that my now 5-year old would drink. But she’s an excellent eater! She loves broccoli, cheese, yogurt, and other calcium-rich foods. So now I don’t stress about it.
Martha Artyomenko says
Wow, what alot of comments about milk! = ) I always used to love milk when I owned my own cow, but after that, I quit drinking milk, probably not owning a fridge had something to do with it too!
I rarely drink milk or eat cereal. I don’t think milk is that bad for you, I just don’t really like it. One thing though, with your body type and depending on where you live, and if you have had multiple pregnancies, you need to make sure you are adding calcium if you are petite. I know that some of this feels like the push for one thing or another, but I live up north and have all my life. I broke my foot when I was 21 and my bones were not able to heal after two pregnancies, I did not drink milk or eat meat that year or have many green leafy vegetables. I also did not always take a calcium supplement. I am only 31 now, and discovered I have very low Vit D levels, which can cause many issues. I would like to be healthy when I am older so instead of looking for it from milk, I look for it from some good supplements and vegetables etc. I eat some meat, but not alot! I want to be around for my children, so even though I don’t subscribe to alot of the hypes, I have found it is good to get some things checked up on.
We drink more powdered milk than milk. I have A LOT of powdered milk in our food storage, so I rarely buy milk. I just mix it with water and the kids nor my husband or I really notice a big difference.
your disclaimer on milk made me laugh! 🙂
Thanks for sharing about milk! I’ve been stressing about what to do w/my 17-mo-old daughter. She doesn’t really care for cow’s milk (and I’m trying to wean her). However she loves yogurt and cheese. Thanks for the encouragement!
I hate milk! But the kids and hubby act like they would die without it so I buy 2 gallons every week. I would personally love to stop buying milk – it’s so expensive! Love your blog!!!
My teen daughter has chosen to be a vegan (no dairy) vegetarian for six years. She is incredibly healthy. We do make sure she has a great multi-vitamin and takes extra calcium (she takes extra C and D too), but she eats lots of healthy whole grains, veggies, and fruit. We do a blood test annually at her physical to check iron levels, calcium, etc. She is rarely sick and her doctor says her levels/physical health is outstanding. So, yes, milk is a great way to get needed calcium but not the only way. I applaud you for being brave enough to write this; as a homeschooling family, I know that some people can be quite opinionated. Enjoy your site! Best wishes!
We do not drink much milk either. Personally, I do not drink milk at all, I only use it as a cooking ingredient and my son will have it for cereal.
I think it is more common than you might think to not drink a ton of milk.
Wow, that milk thing really got a lot of people talking!! It got me thinking too 🙂
I tried to do the eating from the pantry challenge, except for buying milk and produce. Wow, I was shocked at how much I am spending on these perishables!!
I don’t drink much milk, but my family does (there are four of us: me, hubby, 21 year old daughter living at home while she attends college, and 17 year old son, so we are 4 adults). Once I started paying attention, I realized that one or another of us was going to the store and buying milk at least 2 times a week — and we buy 2 gallons at a time!! At roughly $2.50 a gallon, that adds up fast.
Overall, we average about $425 a month in groceries. I was able to get that down to $218 in January. I bought all the milk and produce I normally would buy (my son in particular looooves fruit and eats a lot of it, and I keep lots of fresh salad ingredients on hand), and I bought a few items that were especially good buys. Didn’t buy any meat at all. It’s amazing to me how much we spent just on those perishables and a few sale deals. I thought I would be able to get our spending down much lower.
I suppose I could cut back on the fresh fruits and veggies, but that is one thing that I think is good for my family (and we don’t always have the best diet) so I’m not willing to cut that part of the grocery budget much. I already shop sales and buy what is in season. But milk, yeah, that can go. There is no reason at all we should be drinking 10 gallons a month!!
Just like analyzing our finances from time to time, I think it’s a good idea to take a closer look at our eating habits and grocery shopping now and then. Thanks for the jump-start in this area, Crystal!
chuckling about your milk disclaimer. i was just thinking the other day how some families buy SO much milk. don’t get me wrong, we keep milk and our daughter has a small glass with each meal (small = 8 oz) but i’m not a big milk drinker either. i’ve always eaten a lot of other foods with good sources of calcium (yogurt, cheese, same things everyone else has been mentioning) though i do LOVE ice cold milk (minus the ice) with anything chocolate.
anyway, as with most things in life…balance is best. 🙂
Agree about the milk! You can get all the calcium you need from eating the right foods … we buy milk occasionally because my son loves it but it’s definitely not a staple in our house..
I love your site-thanks for all that you do to help everyone out!
We have a hard time using up half a gallon of cow’s milk before it spoils. So I sometimes make boxed macaroni and cheese with mayo and water instead of milk and butter. Tastes (and is) very rich! Plus all the ingredients are from the pantry. =)
I’m with you on the milk! My littlest cannot really stand milk, so I have to make sure that I supplement his diet with cheese and yogurt and such foods. On another note, way to go not going to the grocery store! Maybe one day I will be able to get to that point…
Danielle B says
We are milk LOVERS here, but I was very surprised after my son’s first birthday when our ped warned us not to rely so heavily on milk for meeting his calcium needs, especially since it fills little ones up and isn’t a great source of iron! She gave us some guidelines and really encouraged plenty of water. I was blown away—but in a good way!!
Andrea @ MommySnacks.net says
Our boys hardly drink milk at all. It may be because they had severe allergies to it (which they have outgrown, well Andon hasn’t). A gallon will last us at least two weeks.
But, if I had some of that raw milk, I would buy it by the truckload. I’ve heard that is some GOOD stuff! They still wouldn’t drink it though 🙂
We like milk here but I will not make a special trip for it. If during my weekly trip I find it on manager markdown at Kroger, I’ll get up to 2 gallons of it depending on the date because I can get it so cheap (usually $.69 for 1/2 gal. or $1 for 1 gal. or $1.50 for 1 gal. of organic). If it is not on special, I still get it but I’ll only get 1 gallon and won’t buy it again for atleast a week. If we run out early, we drink other things. If we are out and somebody wants cereal or I need it in cooking, I whip out one of the cans of evaporated milk that I’ve gotten free on sale. So some weeks, we go through a lot and some weeks a gallon or less (and both of those circumstances usually cost the same lol).
Thank you for your comments on the whole milk thing. I get tired of people looking at me like I’m crazy when I tell them my 2 year old doesn’t drink milk. I’d love it if he would, but I can’t exactly make him. Not chocolate, not strawberry, not soy. No matter how many times I’ve tried. He also won’t eat ice cream or yogurt, but loves cheese and gets a calcium vitamin. He also loves green veggies, so I feel perfectly fine about it. He’ll drink it when he drinks it!
Michelle Z. says
I was raised on a dairy farm, so I’m just used to a big glass of cold milk accompanying my meals.
beth f says
has anyone here also heard about the estrogen hormones in soy? after hearing it, i’ve tried to stear away from giving soy to my daughter(2) and myself…because i guess soy beans are fine without having too much fo this specific estrogen, but its hard to tell when it is in processed foods(cereals, granola bars, candies, burgers, etc) and soymilk products. i used to assume the USDA would make sure there aren’t unsafe levels of anything in our food, that was until i started really researching organic foods…it’s just sick. so no soys in this house!
I only give my kid’s soymilk. We try to stay away from all animal products.
As a matter of fact cow milk is intend for calfs not for humans consumption like breast milk is for babies. We are the only species that drink animal milk after full grown up. Milk is rich in calcium yes, but the human body doesn’t recognize it and have any use for us it’s only for the calf. For the contrary cow milk creates mucus in our bodies that makes us sick.
And to make matters worst we pausterize, skim, take the fat out, wash it and put vitamins back, like if that will do us any better.
Calcium can be found in greeny leafs, seeds and nuts. We can make milk out of almonds, just soak them over nigh until clean water comes out. Put it in a blender with water, then pass it threw a nut milk bag.
But if you still are going to drink milk because you plane like it, the best way is to consume it raw direct from the source. 😉
When I weaned my daughter at 13 months, she went on straight goat’s milk. It’s expensive but no worse than formula. She had tummy issues and I researched the benefits of goat’s milk vs cow’s milk. We eventually gave her soy milk and did so until about a month ago when someone told me about the harmful affects soy can have on your children. (I feel like both my kids will not have any harmful affects from the soy since they have drank it since they were born.) We decided to go Organic with the Cow’s milk for now. We go through about 1-1/2 gallons a week.
We like milk but only try to drink it when we can get it raw. The other is so devoid of nutrients it’s not worth it. Water is the way to go. I sometimes think it’s hard for mothers to understand that children need water and not juice and milk all the time. Juice isn’t very nutritious either unless it’s freshly squeezed that’s why we only use it as a special treat or in our smoothies.
Hey, I totally agree with you on the milk. I’m trying to determine if my son has a dairy intolerance at the moment, and after talking to several nutritionists and reading many articles online, I realized that not only will we survive just fine without milk, but truthfully, it’s not necessary at all. The phosphorous in milk makes calcium absorption much more difficult. I keep reading that more and more doctors are moving away from the recommendation that we even need milk at all. There are much better ways to get your dose of calcium. I’m a lurker on your site, but I thought I’d add in my two cents on this topic! 🙂 Thanks for all your deal posting!
You go girl! It’s no one else’s business what you drink or what your girls drink!
I agree with you on the milk- some of the countries with the lowest consumption of dairy have lower rates of osteoporosis and bone fractures than we do, and there was a very long and detailed Harvard Nurse’s Study that found the same thing. One can get plenty of calcium from other sources, and people always seem to conveniently forget that the Vitamin A *and* D are both added, so it’s not as though milk is the nutritional powerhouse that we’ve been sold- through very expensive marketing- to believe it is.
we LOVE milk and our family of 5 drinks about 4 gallons a week! Isn’t it so funny how everyones preferences are different.
Melissa @ Anxious for Nothing says
We don’t do milk around here much, either. Some days I give my kids a sippy-cup full if I feel their meal was on the light side and they need the calories, and occasionally we have hot cocoa, and sometimes I use milk to make a sauce for casseroles, but that’s about it. My kids have not been introduced to cold cereal yet, and we’re going to keep it that way for a while! I just feel that there are cheaper and more nutritious breakfast alternatives. (Of course, I might change my mind if I was as diligent about couponing as you are and had lots of free cereal laying around.)
Green veggies are the best source of calcium, I believe, but I don’t usually have much luck getting them into my kids, so we do eat cheese and yogurt.
Too much cow’s milk, or dairy in general, can be constipating, especially for young children.
I’m glad to hear that it’s ok to drink less milk. I grew up in the Philippines so cold milk is detestable to me. (But then I l.o.v.e dry milk- which is very weird too.) Plus this being winter, with all the runny noses around here, milk is the last thing I let my kids drink. I do agree that calcuim can be had other ways. I’m just glad this is more normal than not! Thanks for sharing your views!
We are huge milk drinkers here- our family of 4 goes through 4-6 gallons a week. I kinda wish we all didn’t like it so much, as I feel like I’m constantly running to the store for more milk 🙂
I have been doing this a short time compared to many and I am still in shock on how much I have been saving! Today, my Publix trip was $88.26 and saved $189.05!!! Loving it!
my sister has a publix near her, do you have a good blog that you use to find deals for that store?
I also shop at Publix. The match up deals can be found at either http://www.southernsavers.com or http://www.iheartpublix.com I tend to use the both of them since sometimes one will catch a deal the other misses. Plus, it is nice to have to different perspectives. Hope that helps!
Tiffany G. says
I loved milk growing up, but found out I had a dairy allergy when I was about 8 or 9. I was not lactose intolerant, something in the milk (proteins, I think) would trigger asthma symptoms or a full blown asthma attack. I recently found out that dairy allergies are actually very common! I couldn’t have milk, yogurt, ice cream, cream based soups, etc for a LONG time. I have just recently (in the last 5 or 6 years – I am 28) gotten to where I can eat these things with no problems. My mom tried hard to make sure I was getting calcium from other sources and I have turned out ok. I just had a bone density test at our work health fair and my bones are really strong!
My girls like milk and usually drink 6-8 ounces/day. But, my son refuses to drink milk. He just has an aversion to it. He won’t even eat yogurt (even the really oversweetened stuff that tastes nothing like yogurt), or most cheeses. I was thrilled when he recently discovered that he likes swiss cheese. There are plenty of calcium sources out there and so many foods are enriched with it (ie- some bread and pasta and cereals)
Milk has a lot of nutritional benefits, but there are also risks with drinking too much milk. Kids that drink too much milk tend to fill up on that and are not as hungry for the other nutrients their bodies need. There is also something called calcium induced anemia usually caused when kids are excessive milk drinkers.
Kimberly Efird says
LOVE IT!!!! I am also worried about people’s comments about what our child drinks. It wasn’t until she was 17 months old that we let her have juice on a daily basis. Now she has 1/4 or 1/3 of the cup juice the rest water. This is 1-2 times a day. She has weened herself off of milk except for in the morning and after dinner. Then again everyone thinks it’s weird that we don’t let her eat sugary foods. So go figure! If you let your child eat candy I think that is fine, I just choose not to 🙂
I think I may join you and skip shopping this week. Our pantry and freezer are both pretty full.
I agree with you on the milk drinking. We go through very little here with 6 kids and most of it is consumed on cereal. I tend to push water not just because it’s frugal but because my kids fill up on it and aren’t hungry for food.
Another one here with goats milk. My In-laws have 4 goats so we’re well stocked. Hubby is not into putting a lot of milk in us. The goats milk is mainly for cereal, baking, keifer and yogurt (when I feel like making it). Another one here taht isnt into the fad of calcium… but dont get my started on Vit. D or Magnesium. 😉
We are a family of 5. Our kids are 5, 4 and 2.
We drink at least a gallon a day. Our kids love it and ask for it over juice.
They get chocolate milk a couple times a year as a special treat.
If we ever run out for a day or so, we will probably drink a gallon and a half the day we buy some.
that would be husband not nusband……lol
We are actually the only “animals” that drink any other kind of animals milk also the only ones who feel a need to drink it after we are babies and no longer need our mothers breast milk. I personally drink soy milk but my nusband LOVES milk so I am stuck buying him expensive organic milk. I won’t even talk about the yucky things in regular milk!
Mrs Snell says
We are big milk drinkers when it is available at a reasonable price (I never pay more than $1.50/gal) but when it is not readily avaiable my family is content with lemonade, juice, and water. Previously my children were on the WIC program which provided them with Lactaid, since both are lactose intollorant, but I have found that because there are more coupons for Lactaid it usually ends up being cheaper than “regular” milk that my husband and I drink.
I am glad you are comfortable with your decisions for your family! There are so many right ways to raise you family, and no one should be concerned over what type of diet you consume as long as it is healthy!
I’m with you on the milk thing. Just don’t like it. Too much sugar in it, even if it is “natural” sugar. I’d rather drink water, too.
Personally, I think milk is for baby cows… 😉
I agree! Milk is for baby cows….which is why I choose to nurse my kiddos until they’re close to 2! 😀
I don’t like milk, my son absolutely hates milk and my daughter only uses it in cereal… so I buy it in half-gallons and keep powdered milk on hand for recipes. This has saved me a lot of money… and keeps me from having to throw out milk that has spoiled from not being used before it expires. 🙂
I am the one obsessed with milk in our house along with my 3 year old son. I crave the stuff. Sometimes I will have a glass as my “snack” in the afternoon, but only skim!! And it was crazy when I was pregnant how much milk we went through….I couldn’t get enough. Especially with the twins. But alas, not everyone in my family shares my obsession, so it is a treat. And I probably wouldn’t make a trip to the store just for that!
And I agree about picking a new pediatrician. You have to feel comfortable with the advice you are given. If it was a life-and-death thing, that might be different, but people survived for a long time without drinking cow’s milk. Humans are the only species that even drink milk past infancy. It’s not like you go to the store to buy milk for your pets. Sometimes we get so used to doing what we have always done that we don’t stop to really think about things! Ideas like the “Pantry Challenge” help me stretch my mind along with my food budget!
Some one once said ( I forget who sorry) “Milk is good for one thing, making baby cows fat.” I am not saying you will get fat from milk but it is easier for the body to get calicum out of broccali than milk.
@Heather, I have heard that comment before, too, but I think it was in reference to whole milk. My pediatrician actually told us to skip whole milk entirely because it’s really only good for adding calories in a diet that is otherwise lacking. When he turned one (was in the 50th percentile for weight), the dr. advised me to wean directly from breastmilk (I was ready to wean – she was saying that when I do introduce cow’s milk, to do this) to 2%. And when he turns two in June, he will have the all-clear to skip down to skim. I’ve got him on 1% now (and occasionally soy milk, as he likes both) and have every intention to put him on skim as soon as he turns two.
I agree! We don’t drink alot of milk. I’m actually allergic. We do however, eat other sources of calcium, for example, yogurt. We love you too!
We are a milk loving family and go through 3-4 gallons a week. But that was not always the case. When I was buying milk from the store the children had little to no interest in drinking milk, including what was left in their cereal bowls. But then I started getting raw whole milk from a farm and suddenly they were asking for it. Now they drink 1-3 cups a day and i am fine with that. I think it is very good for them but don’t feel children are deprived if they don’t have it.
My family of 4 guzzles milk- four gallons a week. We drink it with every meal. But I LOVED your milk disclaimer. You’re too funny!
I can totally respect your reasons for not drinking milk. But as a milk fanatic, it’s hard to believe! I love milk…the colder the better! And I don’t view it as a form of calcium, I just love the taste. But, everyone’s opinion is different, even my husband, who never touches milk unless I find oreos on sale! Ha ha.
I love your milk disclaimer!! I hate reading blogs where readers attack the blogger so I thought it was great you nipped it in the bud!
PS – my son (3) likes milk, only at bedtime. I like him to drink it for the protein because he is one of THE pickiest children on the planet. He has proclaimed he will only eat “crunchy” things (and this has been for nearly 2 years, so not a phase) and this is one of his few exceptions!
But before he came along, there was never a drop of milk in my house. And if you found a carton, you were well-advised to smell it first!
Good job for keeping with your Pantry Challenge! I get WIC, well, just my 3 kids now, but we get 13 gallons of milk a month! We drink a lot of milk, but not that much! Last month I gave away five or six gallons and we didn’t run out. We should buy stock in Nesquik though. : )
With all the free yogurt that coupons get us, there are plenty of frugal opportunities for Calcium. My kids like milk, but we only go through about a gallon of milk a week and that’s with my husband drinking some too.
People think I’m weird when I let my 10 month old sip water with her dinner, where as my niece drinks sugary apple juice and prune juice all the time. I’d rather not have cavities, thank you very much!!!
Oh my goodness, another child that doesn’t drink juice. It’s one thing if your child doesn’t drink milk at all (mine doesn’t…and he’s FINE), but tell people that your kiddo doesn’t drink juice either, and they think you’re some whack job who starves your child! My son only drinks water…and he’s just fine. He gets his fruits, veggies, and calcium from whole foods – not from overprocessed, sugary drinks. Ask any dentist, and any pediatrician worth their salt – they’ll tell you that far too many little ones have cavities at too young of an age, and that they get too many calories from milk/juice and not enough from REAL food (whole grains, veggies, fruit, etc).
Although, I do LOVE milk…I prefer raw milk, but it’s hard to get still. The regular milk you see at the store is so homogenized that it’s mainly water and mucus that’s left…eww.
@Andrea, just wait until you have teens and people find out they don’t like pop! Talk about weird looks! I have 15-year-old twins, and people can’t believe that they don’t drink carbonated beverages. They order water if we eat out, and here at home it’s water or milk, although my daughter has recently discovered a taste for hot tea. Just the 3 of us go through 4-5 gallons of milk a week, but I’d rather it be that than a 24-pack of pop!
Michelle Z. says
My son doesn’t drink juice, either. It’s just too sweet for me, and so I never buy it, and therefore, he’s never developed a taste for it. He drinks water or milk. Do you want to hear a ridiculous story? When he started school, the children were served juice with their snacks. He asked his teacher for water, instead, and his teacher told him that his mom needed to send in a note giving him permission to have water instead of juice!! What? (And it’s a private school, so they don’t have to comply with state nutritional guidelines.)
Permission to drink water?! How ridiculous. It’s just asinine to me that juice is perceived to be healthier than water. Hello – it is mainly sugar. No wonder peoples’ kids have the dental issues they do. I just don’t understand how people think it’s healthy to push the juice habit – most of the stuff in the stores is so processed, it isn’t funny. We do only fresh -squeezed juice here.
@ Carolyn – I never drank soda growing up. The only time I’d have a Coke was when I’d get a migraine – it’s always my first line of defense before the heavy drugs. My figure and my health has thanked me for this habit though. I swam also, and we had to sign a “diet” contract during training and swim season – promising to only consume whole foods, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and healthy sources of proteins. No junk food, soda, etc -we adhered to a “fine” policy if we did eat the garbage. We’d have to pay into a fine bank for the team to help purchase equipment, pay for the bus, etc. It was a small fine (like, 25 cents for a food transgression), but we were one of the healthiest teams out there!
I find it funny when people think your kids are “weird” for making RESPONSIBLE diet/health choices. Heaven forbid our kids take responsibility for their own dietary health!
My kids don’t know what to do without milk! 😉 I have five kids and we go through a good 5-6 gallons a week too. It’s frustrating though, because I wind up getting three different types of milk. My husband drinks soy milk (which I think is disgusting!), my kids drink 1% (if I buy it) or 2% (if my hubby gets it), and I drink nonfat…I usually get one gallon for me, one for my hubby, and then 3-4 for the kids. I’ve just recently gotten to the “when we are out, we are out” mindset. Without fail a trip to the store for milk always winds up costing $20-25. We don’t drink it for the calcium as much as we all like it. 🙂
Thanks for your site Crystal—it is very encouraging.
Marianne @TheNewFrugalMom.com says
Thanks for the chance to link!
Oh, and I’m the one in our household who isn’t big on milk. I’d rather drink water. My kids & hubs like it so I buy it for them.
My kids didn’t really “like” milk until they were about 3 years old. They ate a lot of yogurt and cheese and OJ with calcium during their toddlerhood. And they’re fine!! LOL!
I agree with a commenter above — your disclaimer made me laugh a bit! 😉 I can understand why you added it!
Im not much of a milk drinker myself….only with certain ‘homey’ foods. And of course with cereal. I think I dont like milk much since my Grandmother annouced she didnt like it when I was a kid. My 3 yr old son usually drinks milk with dinner and we use it in cereal, which he loves to eat. I couldnt go without milk as he requests cream of tomato soup for his lunch quite often. I agree everyone needs to do whats right for their family. But Im also in a firm believer in to not force your likes or dislikes on your children. I may not like milk all that much, but I want my son to decide on his own if he likes it.
Right now it’s just my husband and myself, I have a milk allergy and my husband can’t stand the stuff unless it’s in cereal and he’ll have that occasionally. But it’s a bummer when I get coupons for free milk at my grocery store! 😉
I did love the disclaimer at the end! I’ve found, in my study of milk due to my allergy, that it’s not the best sorce for calcium. But I don’t have a problem with anyone drinking as much as they would like. But for me, my dairy allergy might have come from getting milk to early on and only getting that while I was young. But who knows for sure, I completely understand that it’s pricey and hard to find other means of calcium and milk alternatives. But these eating out of your pantry note have been such an inspiration, I’m still learning but it’s amazing how much food I have sitting around! Thanks for the post!
We don’t like milk, and I was desperate to get my son to drink it. Fortunately, I talked to my wonderful, enlightened pediatrician after about a week of frustration, who said, “There are so many ways to get calcium, as long as you feel he’s healthy I wouldn’t worry about it!”
He did say that I should make sure he gets his vitamin D from another source, since that might be lacking slightly. We now make sure to feed him a snack or breakfast with Vitamin D fortified cereal once a day.
Lynette S says
I loved your comment about the milk, lol! When my daughter was 2, I started letting her drink kool-aid because I thought she was drinking TOO MUCH milk- something like 90 oz/day of 2%. What a mistake, though! After she got a taste of sweet stuff, she would hardly touch milk. Shoulda gave her water, lol!
I grew up on my grandparents’ dairy farm, and I never did like milk. When I was single, I often didn’t have any in the house.
My son, however, loves loves loves milk. By age four, he was going through more than a gallon a week. He even prefers it to juice, although he does enjoy the novelty of a juice box now and then.
I grew up on a dairy farm and drank raw milk until I got married and moved far away from home. I miss the constant supply of milk and crave it often, but now to cut expenses I save it for my kids to drink. Someday I dream of moving closer to our home farm so my family can always have raw milk and cage free eggs!!!
Why do people think it is expensive? It’s 1.99 a gallon here.
where we live its nearly $4 a gallon.
It’s 3.09 here, and it’s not that it’s so expensive to buy, i choose to spend that 3.09 other places right now due to our circumstances. wish it didn’t have to be that way, but life is still good!
I only drink milk with cookies or in my cereal… I dislike milk a lot but I LOVE it with cookies! 🙂
@kalla, I don’t even like it with cookies! lol
Love the disclaimer on the end. 🙂
With five children (four of the them are fast growing boys), I buy five (and sometimes six) gallons of milk a week!
@Ruthanne, we have five kids also and we buy just as many gallons a week. It’s hard to find room for them sometimes. They love it. I personally don’t care for it that much. Oh and my mothers name is ruthann ( no e ).
Lora @ Motherhood Moments says
We personally drink quite a bit of milk at our house (our kids drink most of it). They really love it and they don’t care for most of the other sources of calcium. That’s great that you’re able to cut back on it so much…as long as they’re getting their calcium, I don’t think anyone has the “right” to flip out about yours not drinking much! 🙂
I would love to know what other sources you are getting calcium from. I’m asking in a genuine way. My littlest has a dairy allergy and I spend a ton of money on calcium supplements.
We eat lots of yogurt, cheese, and green leafy veggies. Those might not be great alternatives for you, but that’s what we do.
Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam says
@Crystal, Raw almonds are an amazing source of calcium. When my children were smaller, I would actually make almond milk.
Other ways of getting good calcium include, spinach (make a quiche), lactose free string cheese (its cheaper than vitamins), oranges, and lots of good veggies.
I wish we could do the lactose free cheese, but my son has a dairy allergy which is different than being lactose intollerant.
Kids need between 800-1000 mg of calcium per day. A cup of cooked broccoli only has 94mg of calcium in it. Spinach has about 120mg. I’ve had a really hard time getting to that 1000 mark. It’s really stressful. My son used to drink fortified almond milk, but he recently decided he doesn’t like it. Fortified orange juice is hit or miss. I’m still searching for more food sources to get calcium because the supplements are sooooo expensive.
We’re a food allergy family too. Both of my kids outgrew their dairy allergies around age 4, but do not care for cow milk. They drink soymilk. There are other milk alternatives out there for calcium consumption – coconut milk/yogurt/ice cream, and soy milk/yogurt/ice cream. Even if he won’t drink the milk from a cup, you can use it in your cooking/baking. Even the fortified OJ can be used in your cooking/baking. If you are interested in a food allergy parent forum I highly recommend Kids With Food Allergies (www.kidswithfoodallergies.org)
Very true on the stats. But you also need Magnesium to absorb the calcium. If you balance the two out you can potentially drop the calcium intake. Does that make sense?
Also, if your son gets a lot of sunshine and vit D, he wont need as much calcium.
I am NO Dr. expert, I would like to make that clear for everyones sake, and truly, I’m hoping I’m helping and not causing you more stress, my hubby loves to research vitamin, supplements, etc. He would love to get off his depression meds and live totally natural free, so he researches everything to try to maintain that level of life. That being said; he has found out that the emphasis on today’s Calcium intake is not as high taht everyone seems to think it should be. If you live on a soda and chip diet, ya, you’ll probably need to get your levels up to that Cal. level. if you put that much cal. in your body, you’ll need something like magnesium to absorb it all and work with your body. Does that make sense?
Can you do goats milk? I know for some people that have dairy allergy, raw goats milk is ok. If you can get some and it works with your diet, try making keifer. Its been known to reduce allergies. We’re trying it for our children and husband who need to be wheat/bean free.
that may help you?
I *believe* fish is also a good source for calcium?
this site might be of help too!
My son is allergic to soy and dairy (milk casein) but he seems to tolerate rice milk very well. However, we put formula (neocate one) in his milk to provide him with the adequate nutrition.
@Tiffany, We drink OJ with calcium, almond milk (for my son) and soy milk (for my daughters). Also, we go through yogurt very quickly!
My son won’t consume much dairy (no allergy, just a preference). He has also now decided that he doesn’t like orange juice- so so much for calcium fortified OJ.
There is a type of Musselmans apple juice that has as much calcium as a glass of milk. I definately don’t think that kids should have 3 glasses of juice a day, but if you are looking for for calcium sources, it might help. I buy it every once in a while and try to limit it to one cup in the moring.
I still have him take calcium suppliments and a vitamin though. I’m not sure he needs it, but it makes me feel better
I didn’t realize raw almonds were such a good source of calcium until I read some of these comments. I’ll have to check that out.
Emily Kay says
I grew up without a lot of milk either. But in the days of pediatricians pushing milk…at what point did you draw the line? I have to force my daughter (2) to drink about 4 ounces of milk a day. My son (11 mos) recently weaned and he drinks about 8 ounces of milk a day (no formula), and that’s on a good day. The doctor is always telling me they need more and it gets frustrating after a while. At what age did you stop worrying about their milk intake?
My advice (take it with a grain of salt), is that if you have a pediatrician who is not respecting your decisions as a parent which are based upon thorough research, then you need to find another pediatrician. Yes, I’m hard-nosed like that, but I truly believe that medical professionals should be working *with* parents and respecting parents decisions for their own children so long as parents are taking an active role in their parenting and not being negligent.
@Crystal, I agree! You should never feel bullied by your pediatrician. If they don’t respect your informed decisions, that’s a BIG problem.
@Cate, I had a friend who told her pediatrician that they weren’t going to be pushing a lot of milk for their toddler, and he said that was fine. Just make sure they eat some chicken nuggets and fries on occasion to get some fat! And he was serious! Not that he was saying give them junk food, he was just saying that one of the important reasons drs push whole milk for kids is b/c of its fat content. So just eat a well balanced diet – you’ll be fine!
@Emily Kay, Our ped. never pushes the milk thing, for which I’m thankful. Our kids eat a lot of homemade yogurt, we eat cheese, and we do eat it on our cereal. We just don’t drink gallons of it every week.
My doctor thinks kids don’t need milk, and asks, “Don’t you think it’s weird that we drink a cow’s breastmilk?” 🙂
Yeah – someone else who doesn’t drink a lot of milk either. We are primarily a water family and I get so many strange looks from other moms when I tell them my kiddos don’t really care for milk. And you know what – my kids are normal, well-adjusted little people.
I have seen you post several times about how you don’t drink milk in your household, that you only use it in cereal and baking. I always wondered if it was just because you don’t like milk or because of frugality–I guess frugality wins–or is it because you don’t consider it nutrious?
It’s mostly because we don’t like milk. Every once in a while when I’m pregnant, I’ll get a craving for it, but other than that, my husband and I just sincerely do not like drinking milk. And I’ve done a lot of research and don’t feel like it’s necessarily the most nutritious form of calcium out there. So, we’re okay with just not consuming a lot of milk at our house.
Oh, and I haven’t been to the grocery store all week either! Ernie’s been to get diapers and a few necessities to tide us over!
Holly N says
We are not big milk drinkers either and the children are surviving just fine. I figure do what works for your family. Love your site! God bless – Holly
We eat a lot of yogurt, cheese, green veggies etc for calcium! I’m just weaning Ridley because of lack of supply and he’s trying out goats milk from my Mom’s goat farm! I need to figure out how to make it a little “sweeter” maybe so he will like it better. 🙂
I want to get goats someday! It’s on my long list of things I hope to do. 🙂
@Myra, I used goat’s milk formula with #4 after my milk supply went down due to becoming pregnant with #5. We got it from a church family who raises goats. They put molasses in it for sweetener. It might be worth a shot!
Thank you for the eating out of the pantry challenge. I used up all my old tomato soup which had been there collecting dust!
With various sources of calcium out there, milk certainly doesn’t have to be the only source-I agree!
I personally HATE drinking milk! lol We use milk when we have cereal for breakfast, and I use it in making bread, but we rarely drink it.
I do like chocolate milk, but considering that it’s not particularly healthful, we don’t have it often.