Did you know that there are several different types of milk? You may have always poured whole milk on your breakfast cereal but there are alternatives that you may like to try.
Whole milk contains 3.5% saturated fat which makes it quite heavy and creamy. In the supermarket you can identify it by its blue bottle top. Semi-skimmed milk is sold in bottles with green tops. It’s healthier than whole milk because it’s literally has some of the fat removed, or skimmed, off. It’s still got quite a bit of body to it.
Skimmed milk is the healthiest of all as most of the fat content has been removed. If you taste it you’ll notice that it’s much thinner and more watery than whole or semi-skimmed milk. It still contains beneficial calcium but has fewer calories and less soluble Vitamin A so it’s best not to give it to very young children. If you want to try skimmed milk, search for bottles with red tops.
A popular alternative to all of these, is 1% fat milk. This comes in bottles with orange or purple tops depending on the supermarket you’re visiting. It is literally 1% fat and is still quite tasty but has less fat than semi-skimmed milk (although more than skimmed).
Confused? Perhaps you could treat yourself to a full cream, full fat, full of taste glass of milk from Jersey and Guernsey cows! Known as Gold Top it’s probably not a wise choice for everyday as it has a very high fat content (5%) but it’s definitely worth trying once in a while.
You can also choose organic versions of all these types of milk. If it’s labelled organic that means that it comes from cows which have grazed on grass untreated by chemical fertilisers or pesticides. Once the milk reaches the processing plant it’s treated in exactly the same way as other milk.
Whatever type of milk you buy, make sure to drink it whilst it’s nice and fresh. There will be a “use before” date stamped on the bottle or carton which you should note. A good way to check on the freshness of milk is to give it a sniff! If it smells at all cheesy or sour then you should throw it away. Don’t forget to borrow our Young Explorers: Forest School: On the Farm Touch to See book to find out how milk gets from grass to glass and explore a tactile image of a robotic milking machine.