The Glass of Milk

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The nutritional value of milk is so well-known that it has been the staple of our diets from times immemorial. My home is no exception. However, getting my family to drink milk willingly has been quite a chore because my daughter and my mother despise it with equal zeal and my father, a tea lover, can’t stop complaining about the fluctuating taste of every cup he drinks. Yours truly too is a good sport when it comes to running away from a glass of milk.

It won’t be wrong if I said;

My family loves our milk in the desserts. Not in the glass.

I know, it’s rather sad because my growing child needs her daily dose of milk just as much as my elderly mother and I need it to battle osteoporosis and other illnesses. But, no matter what we add to the milk, its varying consistency (thanks to the adulteration) and the unpleasant smell (blame it on the unhygienic handling by our milkman) seems to loom large over our heads more often than we’d like.

This is why my mother recommends boiling and re-boiling the milk for an extended 5 minutes. This way we try our best to sterilize the milk from any possible infectious microorganisms, at the cost of diminishing its nutritional value.

Failing to like to drink milk myself, I haven’t been able to inspire my child to do so. No amount of warning by the pediatrician has worked either. And preparing desserts out of our daily portion of milk has been only adding to the calorie consumption, ruining my diet plan and tipping off the balance of diabetes for my mother.

Last weekend, after playing with her friend Parul* (my neighbor, Sandhya’s daughter), Pari insisted on staying at their home for a little longer. While I was chit-chatting with Sandhya in her kitchen, I noticed something unusual.

Sandhya brought out a Tetra Pak milk-carton from her pantry, opened it and added milk directly to the boiling pot of water to make tea.

I couldn’t resist asking, “Won’t you boil the milk before using it?”

“There’s no need to do that.” said Sandhya as she laid out cookies on a plate.

“Don’t you need to boil off its preservatives?”  I muttered, failing to understand what made her feel so sure about the milk.

She turned off the teapot and while straining tea into the cups said, “The milk in Tetra Pak is kept safe in its multilayer packaging designed to protect its nutritional value and natural taste without the need of preservatives.”

“No preservatives? Then what about sterilization? How can you be sure that the milk that’s not refrigerated is as nutritive as fresh milk?” I continued probing, unconvinced.

Sandhya served me my cup of tea and as she sat by my side, she continued.

“You know, I too was very skeptical about the carton milk until a couple of months ago. During our visit to Pune, my husband had the opportunity to visit the Tetra Pak plant. There he learned how milk from the very best sources is procured and subjected to Ultra High Treatment before proceeding to pack it immediately, aseptically. This helps retain the nutritional value and rich taste for longer periods and makes boiling unnecessary.

While Sandhya was enlightening me about her switch, I was playing with the milk carton to get a closer look.  Among other things, I was glad to note that besides securing the goodness inside, the packaging was recyclable too.

We drank our cups of tea in complete silence because I needed time to process the information.

As we put our teacups away, Sandhya said she wanted to show me something. She poured milk from the carton into two glasses and placed them in the microwave.

“Why two glasses? Pari doesn’t like drinking milk” I interrupted.

“Are you sure?” asked Sandhya before responding to the beeping microwave and moving on to add a spoonful of sugar to the glasses.

“Come on, I’m her mother,” I said rolling my eyes behind her back.

That’s when Sandhya asked Parul and Pari to come to the kitchen.

What happened next was something I had never seen happen in my home.

The girls came in running, Parul knowingly picked her glass. After initial resistance but encouraged by seeing her friend drink, Pari too started drinking her share of milk in a competition.

Minutes later, the two had rushed out of the kitchen, happily fed, while I was left in disbelief of what I had just seen.

Sandhya’s gentle nod and mischievous smile confirmed that it wasn’t the first time  Pari had happily finished her glass of milk. As a smile rose to my lips, I got busy preparing for a visit to the nearby grocery store to get my carton of milk that was safe, healthy and tasty too.

* Names changed to protect identity.

35 thoughts on “The Glass of Milk

    1. Wow! so glad to meet a milk lover for whom the love of milk has only grown with time. I’ve rediscovered the joy of drinking milk with milk available in tetra pak and I am hoping to take this liking to the next level in due course of time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. From my research milk is not essential for health and if people don’t like it, they don’t need to have it. Cultures on east asia like​ Japanese or Chinese have traditionally never had dairy products. But they have lower rates of osteoporosis compared to western countries. My lab mates were doing research on that. Milk is not necessarily​ good for health. Even uht milk could be full of antibiotics or hormones.

    I stopped drinking milk years ago but use it only for chai. Now, i use goats milk for chai and don’t drink cow’s milk at all unless i am drinking outside.

    The book china study talks about this in detail.

    Once I moved abroad, i loved the convenience of tetra pak milk. I don’t have to boil milk at all. Secondly, I use full fat milk which is often not available in india from the local sources except as tetra pak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coming from a family of women who’ve always had issues with bone density, the emphasis on increasing the dairy intake, especially drinking milk has forever been a cause of worry. The real problem has perhaps been the taste because no one in my family is lactose intolerant and after switching to the milk in tetra pak (though it’s pretty recent) Pari and I are back to eating cereals and oats without a fuss.

      Thank you, Boiling for sharing those interesting facts. I shall surely check out the book you recommended.

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      1. Now, I prefer goats milk over cow’s milk. It does have a stronger different taste which changes the taste of chai but I am okay with it now. The cold fresh milk tastes nicer than the UHT one for sure! Maybe you can try a small bottle to see if you like it. Some people find the taste too strong for their liking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no, I hate milk too! I can only tolerate desserts with milk in it 😀
    But tetrapack milk does taste way better than the other milk. And I too don’t remember the last time I saw anyone boiling milk at home. It’s perfectly safe to use directly from the pack!

    I don’t know if this would help, but still: I don’t like milk, but I like lassi and buttermilk. Maybe that will help to increase milk-y intake for both Pari and your mom? Do check it out with the docs though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Lassi and Buttermilk are hot favorites in my family and so are the desserts made from milk.

      You’re right, Mithila, tetra pak milk tastes heaps better besides being safe and healthy.
      Things are looking better after we’ve started using the tetra pak milk. I’m hoping for the situation to get better with time 🙂

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  3. Sara

    I do not know much about milk but from what I’ve researched and studied in the past few years i can safely say that milk isn’t digested easily by all. Many many have found to be lactose intolerant(myself included). But what i found funny is that like you said people were intolerant of just the milk in the glass. Not other forms like cheese, cream or curd. What we’re getting in the market these days is laced with steroids and can cause hormonal imbalance to those who have hit puberty. The bacteria in the curd makes it safer to eat. I do not exactly know how it affects kids but i wouldn’t recommend forcing anyone to drink milk especially those with a weak digestive system. They are better off without it. Some people who have actually taken their daily two glasses of milk also were found to have calcium and vitamin d deficiencies. You might want to consult a good specialist for your mother who can give some calcium supplements or direct toother sources of clcium.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear! I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to battle lactose intolerance on a daily basis. I totally agree that eating curd is great in so many ways.

      The problem in our case is none of us are lactose intolerant and despite mom being on calcium and even Vitamin D supplements, there have been persisting issues with her bone density (which we get checked on a regular basis).
      This is why her doctor has constantly been stressing on improving her dairy intake. The switch to tetra pak milk looks promising and I’m really hoping that Pari sticks to drinking her daily portion of milk, just as she has been happily doing lately.

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    2. I agree with all your point! I reduced dairy after starting to suffer from hormonal acne. But I make sure I get calcium by putting a cup of almond milk in my smoothies daily. It has 50% more Ca than dairy and no cow hormones.

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  4. Found In Folsom

    Me a milk lover. 🙂 I can drink milk any time of the day. But not cold, though. Luckily my kids don’t whine much. Their daily breakfast is milk with cereals. When they don’t have time, I just gush a glass of milk down my daughter’s throat for which she takes all the time in the world. Somehow, I thought tetra packs were expensive hence stayed far when I was in India.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When children drink milk without fuss, breakfast becomes full of possibilities besides the added nutritional goodness. The real problem these days is his adulteration has ruined the natural goodness of the foods we consume in a daily basis. It is the assurance of consuming safe products that has made me switch to Tetra Pak milk.
      Thank you Latha for sharing your personal story 🙂

      Like

    1. Hoping for the best, Shalini. Kids in the house learning to drink milk without a fuss can save the morning chaos with a quick glass of milk or a bowl of cereals. I’m glad you liked my post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shilpa Garg

    Yes, milk in tetra packs is safe and hygienic. I am all for it, though I dont like the taste of tea made with milk from tetra pack. But drinking it hot or cold or using it in shakes and desserts is fab. It’s wonderful that lil Pari would now enjoy her glass of milk with all smiles. Cheers 🙂

    Like

  6. inquisitivegeet

    Finally I’m here… on your blog and I feel so happy! Reliving the memories of last year 😀
    And I don’t like milk but drink it though, coz I know it’s important for the body. But tetra pack i haven’t tried a bit. While you’ve written this, somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m planning to try it sometime!

    Also, have liked your page and followed you on insta to not miss any updates from you!

    Lots of love and Hugs your way ❤

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Geet 🙂
      That’s exactly why I have been eager to find a way to get my family to drink milk. The switch to Tetra Pak milk is pretty recent though the results have been encouraging thus far.
      Am excited to connect with you and hoping over to your Facebook page right away ❤
      {Hugs}

      Like

  7. Luckily I am the only black sheep in my family who hates milk. My kids and hubby dear relish their glass of milk.
    But I do agree, the milk taste varies day to day. Many a times the tea too tastes a little different!
    Maybe I’ll try the tetra pack sometime and check.
    Have a lovely weekend Era 💖

    Like

    1. Though my switch is pretty recent, gauging by the taste of the tea or my kid’s response when milk is served, I can safely say, the tetra pak milk looks promising.
      I’d love to know your take when you give the tetra pak milk a try 🙂
      You too have a fantastic weekend ahead ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love MILK.. yes every day there is a PINT of mile early in the morning for BReakfast.. been doing it since my childhood, I guess living in village this was special, fresh milk from a goat or cow ..

    I have not tried this tetra milk 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes we Indian mothers have milk in our DNA. Morning starts with opening the door for milk packet and if packet is no their we go mad. That mad continuous till we feed our kids with milk. My older girls hates milk till date. I was so obsessed to make her drink and it always ended me cleaning the washroom. My doctor told me stop forcing her to drink milk but try to give her milk products. She if fine with curd,buttermilk,cheese,ghee and butter.My younger girl is opposite she loves milk. Before I pour milk, she takes a big mug and drinks cold. What your friend send was right. I never boil milk here. But in hyd the packet milk I boil because the milk has got some smell and smell goes when boiled.
    I hope pari drinks this new milk without any fuss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I quite agree with many mothers taking their obsession of making the children drink milk to far extremes.
      Since I didn’t enjoy the milk from our earlier source, I didn’t find it right to push my child to do so either. Pari loves all dairy products this was one of the reasons why I was keen on finding a milk source that could inspire her to drink her glass of milk. And ever since the switch to Tetra Pak, I have faced minimum resistance on her part. So things are looking positive from where I can see 🙂

      Like

  10. I have been skeptical about carton milk too.. but how would we know all cartons are packed in the same safest way? I have recently started getting raw milk here and pasteurize (basically boiling:) ) at home. Trying to serve atleast 2 glasses of this milk to kids every day “trying” applies mostly to Adi.. LHB is cool guy with milk 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The switch has been working wonders in our home, Pari has given up the fuss and readily drinks even a glass of plain milk. As far identifying Tetra Pak, check out their logo on Google, you can check that logo every time you browse through carton milk to be doubly sure.
      While boiling milk at home does help keep it free from microbes, but certain strains are heat resistant at that temperature, that’s why subjecting milk to UHT (Ultra High Temperature) for a very short time makes milk more safe in today’s world of adulteration, especially how it is in India.
      Hugs and kisses to LHB for being the milk lover darling 💕

      Like

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