Well, as you already know, I was eventually convinced of the evils of dairy. After reading Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution and then a search around the internet, I saw that it wasn't necessarily dairy that child one and two required, rather, they needed to be getting calcium. And, surprisingly, they could actually absorb more calcium into their little bodies if we ditched the dairy and concentrated on calcium-rich vegetables. And besides, I was interested to see the children's reaction, and mine, to dairy once we reintroduced it after going without it for 30 days.
But before I share the reaction to dairy once it was reintroduced, I'd like to share with you three very simple arguments that convinced me to eliminate dairy for 30 days initially. First of all, it has been found that dairy actually provokes an inflammatory response in the gut when consumed; this is no good. Secondly, consuming milk spikes insulin levels; this is no good. And finally, there seemed to be enough evidence that allergies disappeared with dairy; this is good. We had nothing to lose (perhaps a lower calcium count for 30 days at the worst), so I figured it was worth doing. Oh, and there's also the argument that cow's milk is for their babies, and not for humans. That's an interesting argument too.
When the 30 days were over (actually I think we went longer than 30 days because we all felt so amazing) we treated ourselves to ice-cream. Aside from a sore belly that night, from the sugar, it seemed like the treat was fairly well handled. The next morning however, brought some interesting news. While child two showed no side effects from the indulgence (typical), child number one could be heard sniffing and sneezing in the early hours of the morning. The husband had the same. Coincidence? Did they have a bug the night before that only presented itself the next morning? I was happy to shrug that first incident off. But, since then, time and time again, both child one and the husband suffer with "hay fever" the morning after having dairy. It's pretty unbeleiable. It's a guarantee.
So to answer the question, "Do kids need dairy?" I would have to say no way. Children definitely need calcium. And from now on, their daily calcium intake will come from sources other than dairy. And, I'm absolutely satisfied with that.