Dutch Quirk #14: Drink a glass of milk with every meal

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #14: Drink a glass of milk with every meal

Whether you’re eating delicious pannekoeken, uitsmijter, or stamppot, another hidden essential to a Dutch meal is a tall glass of milk!?

Yeah, that’s right. Dutchies will have their usual glasses of water (obviously) and beer (because, you know, they’re Dutch), but they’ll also be sure to get a huge helping of milk.

What is it?

Regardless of the meal (breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner), Dutch people will drink a huge glass of milk with their food, whether or not it goes well with what they’re eating.

Drinking milk as kids is probably why the Dutch grow so tall! Image: Depositphotos

Aardappels, vlees, groente (potatoes, meat, vegetables), pea soup, or bread with cheese? They’ll have it with milk on the side.

Sure, we understand a glass of milk in the morning when waking up or at night before going to bed. But during every single meal of the day?

It seems just a little excessive.

Why do they do it?

Well, you’ve probably heard about how milk is rich in nutrients — milk proteins and fats, vitamins, minerals, and calcium.

It makes sense that Dutchies would probably rather drink something like milk over juices or tea (although you can pry their coffee mugs from their cold, dead hands).

Milk is known to help make your bones grow strong and supposedly make you grow taller.

Why is it quirky?

It seems like obsessive milk drinking does have its perks. Just look at the size and build of the Dutch!

Dutch parents do their best to get their kids to drink lots of milk to grow their bones. Is that the magic ingredient that makes Dutch kids the tallest in the world?

We’re not sure. But they might be onto something. 🤔

Should you join in?

Not every stomach is built for drinking milk (curse you, lactose intolerance!), so maybe every single meal is too excessive.

However, drinking milk in moderation isn’t bad for you — so why not enjoy a glass every now and then? Maybe just don’t pair it with pea soup.

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Third culture kid Katrien has been working as a writer and editor at DutchReview for over two years, originally moving to the Netherlands as a tween. Equipped with a Bachelor’s in communication and media and a Master’s in political communication, she’s here to stay for her passion for writing, whether it’s current Dutch affairs, the energy market, or universities. Just like the Dutch, Katrien lives by her agenda and enjoys the occasional frietje met mayo — she just wishes she could grow tall, too.


  1. I really can’t drink normal milk and even in moderation, I still get a stomachache 😂. So, I’ll just stick to oat milk

  2. I too grew up drinking a glass of milk at every meal in the US in the 50’s and when I had a family of my own we all still had milk with every meal. Sadly at my best I was 5’4″, but my sons are 6’2″ and 6’3″!

  3. It was true for Dutch-Americans in the 50’s and 60’s. I am 3rd tallest at 6’0″. Two of my brothers are 6’4″.


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