Milk It! 9 Ways to Make Milk the Star of Your School
We frequently get asked “How do I get my students to drink more milk?” Let’s start out by answering the question, “why is it important that kids drink milk?”
Milk is nutrient rich, containing nine essential nutrients your body needs to get from food: calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D, B5 and B12, riboflavin, and niacin.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified four nutrients of public health concern, calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber. Americans are not consuming them at adequate levels, and their low intakes are associated with health concerns. Milk is a good or excellent source of both calcium and vitamin D, and is the #1 source of calcium in the American diet, so relatively easy to meet the daily needs by increasing something we already consume.
Here is why this is a particular concern with kids. They are making their beverage choices at an early age and when they become teens, they begin experiencing very rapid bone growth, second only to infancy. Results of the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 26.7% of teens had not consumed milk in the last 7 days. Meanwhile, only 17.5% of teens had consumed two or more servings of milk per day over that same time period.
With so many different things to drink, it’s more important than ever to make sure your students are getting the most out of their beverage choice. Our colleagues at the New England Dairy & Food Council have put together this a new handout, 9 Great Ways to Promote Milk in Schools, to help you encourage your students to drink more milk! The nine tips are also listed below:
- Serve Ice Cold Milk. Milk tastes best when it’s under 40°. Strive to serve milk at 35°F.
- Increase milk’s appeal by displaying it in attractive ways. Use glass door merchandisers, open air coolers, and/or portable rolling coolers to display milk in accessible ways in multiple locations.
- Provide a variety of milks, including multiple flavors andfat level choices, so that students can choose the milk they prefer to drink. Don’t forget 1% flavored milk is now allowed in all schools.
- Try Hot Chocolate Milk with older students! Or talk to your milk processor about offering milk in resealable plastic containers.
- Schedule recess before lunch. Thirsty kids coming off the playground will drink more milk and have been shown to eat more of their lunch in general.
- Encourage milk with meals and water in between.
- Promote milk consumption with prizes for those who take and drink milk with meals.
- Engage with students through milk-themed activities. Challenge students to consume three servings of milk a day over a period of a week or several weeks.
- Teach your students about our local dairy farms, where milk comes from, and how many different foods can be made from milk. Milk is local, fresh, and always in season!
Make milk the star of your school with Fuel Up to Play 60’s Time to Milk It! Campaign and you could win some awesome prizes for your school!*
Photo courtesy of Waterford School District Food & Nutrition Services
- Free Time to Milk It! Kits full of great goodies to energize your team (while supplies last)!**
- Your school could win a smoothie bike personally delivered by an NFL player!*
Visit the Time to Milk It! Campaign webpage for all the information you need to get involved and to enter for a chance to win, plus you can access downloadable contest guides and fun dairy recipes to try!
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Many will enter; few will win. See Official Rules. The NFL Entities (as defined in Official Rules), National Football League Players Association and the National Football League Players Incorporated have not offered or sponsored this sweepstakes in any way.
**Limit one Kit per school building.