Celebrating the benefits of school milk on World School Milk Day

The importance of the School Milk Scheme was highlighted by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, during World School Milk Day 2020 today (Wednesday, September 30).

Commenting, Minister McConalogue stated: “This is a wonderful opportunity for school principals to get the academic year off to a great start by availing of the School Milk Scheme.

“Providing children with the option of consuming a portion of dairy during the school day at a very affordable price is an excellent way to reinforce healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime,” the minister added.

To celebrate World School Milk Day on September 30, the National Dairy Council is offering all children who are participating in the scheme with the opportunity to enter a competition.

Participants are invited to design a poster for their local School Milk supplier promoting the health benefits of School Milk with fantastic prizes to be won. For full details visit: www.moocrew.ie/competition.

Caroline Gunn, nutritionist with the National Dairy Council, said: “The recent National Children’s Food Survey shows that over one-third of Irish children aged five to 12 years have inadequate calcium intakes.

“Milk is one of the best dietary sources of calcium, a nutrient that is well recognised for its important role in normal bone growth and development.

Childhood and the adolescent years are particularly important for forming healthy bones. Three servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group are recommended per day for those aged five to eight years; with five daily servings recommended for those aged nine to 18 years.

“As part of a balanced diet, a daily 200ml serving of milk also provides us with protein, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12 – each playing a variety of important roles for our health.

“For example, iodine contributes to normal cognitive function; vitamin B2 assists with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue; while vitamin B12 plays a role in immune function,” the nutritionist added.

The National Dairy Council is now taking registrations for the School Milk Scheme for the 2020/2021 school year.

Only children registered in participating schools can avail of this service. Free fridges are supplied to participating schools to ensure that milk is served chilled and fresh, the council concluded.