3+ Super Fun Ways to Celebrate World School Milk Day
Did you know this September 25th marks the 20th celebration of World School Milk Day? That’s right! From its health benefits to its tastiness, there are plenty of reasons for schools to laud the beloved beverage.
Nutrition Directors know that promoting milk to students can be tough. By providing exciting and immersive events during World School Milk Day, your young scholars will begin snagging at least one carton of milk per meal.
In this post, we’ll take a look at:
- The key benefits of getting your daily dairy serving.
- Fun activities to help your school promote and celebrate World School Milk Day.
- Ways to continually boost the sales of milk for your school.
Ready to dive in? Let’s start by discussing why milk is so darn good for you (and your students).
Why Milk is the Most Awesome Drink Ever
Whether you enjoy milk or not, there’s no denying that it is a nutrient-rich drink. For those who aren’t lactose intolerant, milk delivers a punch of nutrients and benefits unlike any other. Here’s what you’ll find in one serving.
Vitamins. So Many Vitamins!
The Centers for Disease Control says Americans can use all the help they can get where vitamins are concerned. In a study, the CDC found that nearly 10% of Americans are deficient in vitamin B6, iron, vitamin D, vitamin n, vitamin E, and folate. It’s a good thing milk exists.
There is a slew of essential vitamins and minerals found in an eight-ounce serving. In just one cup, you get…
- Calcium: 28% of the RDA
- Vitamin D: 24% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 26% of the RDA
- Vitamin B12: 18% of the RDA
- Potassium: 10% of the RDA
- Phosphorus: 22% of the RDA
- Selenium: 13% of the RDA
On top of the vitamins, you get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and, if the cows were grass-fed, you get some antioxidants too!
Of course, the nutritional content of milk varies from one type to the next. It’s important to do your research to ensure you meet your specific dietary needs.
Packed with Powerful Protein
Milk contains a whopping eight grams of protein in a one-cup serving. It’s also considered a complete protein, meaning it includes all nine of the essential amino acids needed for optimal body functioning.
With so much protein packed into one drink, it’s no wonder it helps to slow muscle degeneration in older adults. It also aids in the muscle repair of athletes. There are multiple studies proving milk helps decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, and even helps reduce muscle soreness.
The conclusion here is obvious, folks: active kiddos need milk to fuel their lives.
Just Say No to Brittle Bones
Speaking of protein, did you know that it makes up 50% of your bone volume and one-third of your bone mass? It’s true!
So, take all that protein and add in the nutrients essential for healthy bones (calcium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin K2), and you have quite the nutrition powerhouse.
Drinking milk helps keep your bones and teeth healthy and assists in preventing bone issues as you age.
Celebrating a Nutritional Powerhouse
It’s easy to see why milk has its very own holiday. A single serving of the beverage packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Do you know how your school plans to celebrate this year?
We have a few fun ideas that are easy to incorporate this World School Milk Day. Check them out!
Give them Smoothies!
A smoothie bar is a fun way to place the spotlight on milk while allowing students to learn about healthy ways to incorporate dairy into their diet. Taylor Nobles, the on-staff Registered Dietitian for MealsPlus, recommends blending smoothies for students as they come through the line to get their lunch.
“Creating a fruit spread where kids pick which fruits they want in their smoothies is a great way to get students involved while also educating them on the benefits of a diet rich in low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables,” Nobles said.
Nobles also recommends offering spinach for a green smoothie option and says you can’t go wrong when offering strawberries, blueberries and bananas.
Lattes for Days
While younger students love a tasty smoothie, high schoolers have a more sophisticated palette. Offering a selection of coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, frappes, and the like is an excellent way to promote milk with the older set.
Designate one or two members of your cafeteria staff as baristas and create a mini coffee house right in the cafeteria. Students can try an assortment of coffee drinks or order one to go.
Milk Mustache Photo Booth
Who doesn’t love a photo booth and a hilarious prop? Grab a volunteer photographer (or two) and build a milk mustache photo booth. Feature the photos on your school’s website or social media accounts to share the fun with the students’ families.
Look on Pinterest or do a quick Google search and you’ll find plenty of milk mustache prop templates. Consider using empty milk cartons as an additional prop. You can even have someone dress in a cow costume for the photos. The possibilities are endless.
A Glove Turned Udder
Want to teach children how farmers get the milk from cows? Create a milking station using plastic gloves and milk! Simply poke small holes in the tips of the fingers of the plastic glove and then pour in the milk.
Using a bucket, demonstrate how to pull on the udders to get the milk out. You can discuss how farmers use machines, but others use their hands.
The students get the experience of milking a cow without leaving the cafeteria.
Boosting Milk Sales All Year Long
World School Milk Day is an excellent opportunity to bring milk front-and-center. But how do you promote milk drinking year-round? If you have seen your milk sales decreasing, here are some ideas to help give those sales a much-needed boost.
Add Coffee to the Menu
So, that coffee bar idea we mentioned? Consider implementing that all year long in your high school. Older students love coffee drinks. If you don’t sell it, they’ll likely hit up the nearest coffee shop drive-thru anyway. Don’t have the resources to start a separate coffee bar? Add it to your cafeteria menu!
Provide a Variety of Milk Flavor Options
Most schools carry the standard plain and chocolate-flavored milks, and most students have tried these. But what if you offered strawberry or vanilla or created your own flavor? Offering more options is sure to appeal to more students.
Promote Milk Year Round
One day of promotion won’t increase sales for an entire year. Consider promoting milk once a month or incorporating it into your meal program promotions. Some promotion ideas include:
- Offering younger students coloring or activity sheets about milk.
- Conducting milk and dairy taste-tests with the students.
- Make milk and/or dairy the star ingredients in one meal per week.
- Promote the benefits of milk as much as possible in age-appropriate ways. The Dairy Alliance provides excellent resources geared toward all ages.
World School Milk Day is Coming
September 25th is just around the corner. You are armed with the facts about milk and know how to promote the drink; it’s now time to plan how your school will celebrate World School Milk Day.
Just remember: convincing students to drink milk can’t be carried on the shoulders of one promotion. Find ways to run promotions throughout the year and as often as makes sense. Track your sales using your POS system, so you know which promotions worked best, and then rinse and repeat.