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Monday, November 29, 2021  

Milk...it does a body good!Published 9/8/2003

Milk...it does a body good! Is this true? Of course it is! Don’t you remember those famous words spoken by your mother? "Drink your milk!"

Milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium, a mineral that is important to healthy bone development. The body actually builds 75 percent of the skeleton during adolescence. To lengthen long bones during growth, the body builds a scaffold of protein and fills this in with calcium-rich mineral.

From the age of 11 until the age of 24, 1,300 milligrams of calcium each day is required. That means at least 4.5 servings of milk, cheese or yogurt daily. Adolescent bodies have a higher capacity to absorb and retain calcium, making them efficient at bone building.

Bone also need vitamin D to move calcium from the intestine to the bloodstream and into bone. In addition to being full of calcium, almost all of U.S. milk had vitamins A and D added as well.

Bang, bang, boom!

Any mother can identify with their child’s first day of school. All summer long, my daughter and I had chosen the right clothes to wear, the right shoes, the right backpack and the right lunch box. Everything needed to be just right for the first day of school.

My 6-year-old daughter had just finished looking in the mirror for the umpteenth time. "Mama, do you think my hair looks pretty?" my daughter asked me.

"Honey, you look beautiful," I answered. "We had better get going, you don’t want to be late for your first day of school."

As we got into the car, I could sense my daughter’s nervousness. Like mother, like daughter. After all, I was sending my baby away, to be with a complete stranger, and a room full of children that she didn’t know.

What if the other children were mean to her? What if she didn’t like her teacher? What if she got hurt on the playground at recess? What if…?

My daughter sat still in the seat, her backpack in one hand, and her Strawberry Shortcake lunch box in the other. Her hands were clenched tightly around each. As we pulled into the school parking lot, I knew this was going to be harder than I thought. I remained strong, and did not let her see the tears that were forming in my eyes. Oh, my little baby was going to school!

We walked into the classroom, where the teacher greeted us with a smile. She was an elderly lady, a grandmother-looking type, complete with gray hair and glasses that were pushed down to the end of her nose.

"Honey, just hang your backpack on the hook by the closet, and put your lunch box inside your desk," her teacher said.

My daughter obeyed, and with that certain look in her eyes, she turned to me and gave me a big hug and a big kiss. The tightest hug, and the wettest kiss that I had ever gotten before.

Holding back the tears, I slowly walked out of the classroom, looking back over my shoulders several times, just to reassure myself that my daughter was not following me. In a way, I almost wanted to see her little legs running after me, along with her out-stretched arms, but there was no sign of her. I got into my car, and drove home, wiping back the tears all the way.

Time seemed to stand still as I waited out the long school day. Finally, 3 o’clock arrived! I stood outside her classroom, and then, I spotted her.

"Hi honey, did you have a good day? Did you make some new friends? Did anything exciting happen?" I asked.

She replied, "Well, Mama, I had fun and I made lots of new friends and my thermos in my lunch box exploded, right at my desk! It went BANG, BANG, and BOOM! Coke went everywhere. My teacher said that we’re NOT suppose to put coke in a thermos, we’re suppose to put MILK in a thermos!"

My daughter’s first year of school went fine. She enjoyed first grade. Her teacher taught her many things that year, and one valuable lesson that we both learned was: Thermoses are made for MILK, not Coke!

That was 20 years ago. My daughter and I remember her first day of school, and we still laugh at the exploding thermos.

BANG, BANG, BOOM! Got milk?

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