Did you know milk provides more calcium and protein per 100 calories – and more calcium per penny – than any other food served on school lunch menus? Students depend on school meals for up to 50 percent of their total daily caloric intake and nearly their entire daily intake of calcium – making milk an important component of any school meal.
The New Look of School Milk program aims to make this nutrient-rich beverage an appealing alternative to high-sugar fruit juices and empty-calorie sodas and energy drinks by featuring ice-cold milk served in a variety of flavors in kid-friendly, recyclable plastic bottles. Whether milk is offered on the meal line, in vending machines or a la carte, the program has been shown to increase milk sales and consumption, and in many schools even increase meal program participation. In fact, the New Look of School Milk program pilot test reveal that:
- Student milk consumption increased up to 37%.
- Milk sales increased 18%.
- More students were attracted to the meal line, with lunch participation in secondary schools increasing 5%.
There are now more than 10,000 schools across the country (more than 2,700 in the Southeast) serving newly packaged flavored milk to more than six million students.
Browse our resources for tips on how to implement a New Look of School Milk program in your district.
“During a state review, our nutrient analysis revealed a low calcium intake by our high school students. The next year we started using plastic milk bottles and our milk consumption increased by 70%. We are now in compliance with our calcium levels.”
-Karen L. Tynch MS, RD, LDN, Child Nutrition Director, Edenton/Chowan School district
A simple redesign of your a la carte line could encourage students to make healthier choices when it comes to their diets. Making drinkable yogurts, ice-cold milk and grab-and-go string cheese available on the meal line can help ensure students get enough calcium – which research shows in lacking in seven out of 10 boys and nine out of 10 girls.
Now Serving: Positive Choices – Find tips to help boost your a la carte sales of milk, cheese and yogurt, which could also have a positive effect on your meal program participation.
Get Milk and Get Going – Learn how to create excitement around healthy vending choices – from a grand opening celebration to a flavor of the month promotion. Remember, flavored milk outsells white milk 9-to-1 in school vending machines.