By Amanda Hill

We’ve all seen the commercials—the coolest actresses, athletes and entertainers proudly sport their milk mustaches. We’ve been told it does a body good. Got milk? You bet!

Growing up, milk was a part of my everyday diet. I’d start the day with a bowl of cereal and skim milk. I’d have a few cheese sticks in my lunchbox. I always had a glass of milk with my dinner. I couldn’t leave the table until my glass was empty.

But according to a Harvard professor and pediatrician, the recommended three servings of milk a day is bad for our kids… Dr. David Ludwig says that kids are getting extra calories and sugar from an excess of flavored milk and sweetened yogurt. Rather than drink milk, Ludwig instead suggests our kids should eat kale, beans, nuts and seeds.

Anyone who has kids (or has been a kid) knows that a plateful of kale will fly like a ton of bricks. Milk is a nutritionally complete food, providing protein and vitamin D, in addition to calcium. And, you’d have to eat three cups of kale to get the same amount of calcium as one cup of 2 percent milk. Good luck with that.

Chocolate milk was a special treat in our house when I was a kid. When we did get to have it, Mom would cut it with skim milk, reducing the sugar and calories but still giving the sweet, chocolaty taste. It wasn’t until college that I knew people drank it straight. (It was delicious, I’ll admit!)

Dr. Ludwig says the recommendation for milk should be changed to “zero to three” servings a day, instead of the USDA’s suggested three. I think that encourages parents and kids to cut milk from their diets altogether, which is really a shame.

Rather than giving milk a bad rap, let’s take a rational approach and incorporate reduced fat, plain milk and dairy products into our daily routine. It’ll do our bodies good.