A hundred years ago, it was recommended that adults drink 2 cups of milk per day, while current recommendations are 3 cups per day. For children, the recommendation back then was 3 cups of milk per day, while the recommended amount now is based on age, but less for small children than in 1923.
A 1923 home economics textbook said:
One pint [2 cups] of whole milk should be allowed for each adult, and one and one-half pints [3 cups] for each child over two years of age; the younger child may need more. In addition to the prescribed allowance of whole milk, skimmed milk may be used in cooking as a source of protein and mineral matter. Part of the milk allowance for the family may well be supplied in milk soups, custards, bread, rice, and other pudding, cocoa and chocolate and in white sauce with vegetables, eggs and meats.
Economics of the Family (1923) by C.W. Taber and Ruth A. Wardall
Current recommendations, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate website, are:
- children 12-23 months should drink 1 2/3 – 2 cups of milk per day
- children 2-3 years should drink 2 – 2 1/2 cups of milk per day
- children 4-8 years should drink 2 1/2 cups of milk per day
- children 9 and older should drink 3 cups of mil per day
- adults should drink 3 cups of milk per day.