Make Today Legen-Dairy!

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Celebrate World School Milk Day and embrace the power of dairy

While we think that every day is milk day when school is in session, it’s only official once a year. World School Milk Day falls on the last Wednesday of September every year, meaning that this year it’s on September 27. Low-fat and fat-free milk provides nutrients that are absolutely essential to growing kids. And of course, milk isn’t the only source of dairy you serve to students as a K-12 foodservice operator. Creamy, dreamy yogurt plays a big role in rounding out a school meals program, too. In honor of World School Milk Day, here’s a milk-titude of dairy facts.

1. About 90% of people in the United States do not meet the dairy guidelines for recommended daily intake.¹

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people consume 3 cups of dairy each day. Kids ages 2-8 years old should consume 2-2½ cups of dairy daily. But most of us fall short of these recommendations and have some catching up to do.

2. Dairy delivers essential nutrients from calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.

Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients to help kids and teens build strong bones. In fact, it’s important to continue to consume dairy to build strong bones throughout your twenties and throughout life to maintain bone health. Despite that, almost 30% of men and 60% of women over 19 years of age don’t consume enough calcium.¹ Overall, 45% of Americans fall short in calcium intake, and 96% fall short in vitamin D intake.²

3. School meals promote dairy consumption.

Dairy is a key part of the school meal pattern. Therefore, it’s no surprise that kids who participate in the school lunch program have higher dairy intakes compared to non-participants. The USDA’s School Nutrition and Meal Cost study found significantly higher dairy intakes relative to recommendations in elementary and high school students compared to non-participants.³

4. Cereal helps promote milk intake.

In kids who eat cereal, 50% of their milk intake is from cereal and milk and, in teens, 72% of their milk intake is from cereal and milk.

5. Yogurt eaters consume more calcium, vitamin D, and potassium than non-yogurt eaters.

Kids and adults that eat yogurt meet their recommended intake for calcium, potassium, and magnesium compared to non-yogurt eaters.⁴

Besides school milk options, foodservice operators can provide nutritional value through yogurt products in K-12 environments. From single serve cups to kid-friendly Yoplait® Simply Go-GURT® to bulk yogurt ready for use in parfaits and beyond, General Mills Foodservice gives you multiple ways to deliver delicious yogurt to kids.

Yogurt recipes for K-12 operators

  • Make Apple Nachos for a sweet, fruity twist on a familiar snack.
  • You can get creative with different fruit and yogurt combos with Frozen Parfait Pops.
  • No breakfast prep time, no problem. Daily Special Overnight Oats get stirred together the night before you want to serve them, with minimal work to finish the oats in the morning.

¹U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at;
²Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2017-2018]
³U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Policy Support, School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study, Final Report Volume 4: Student Participation, Satisfaction, Plate Waste, and Dietary Intakes
⁴Nutrients. 2020 Nov; 12(11): 3435. Published online 2020 Nov 9. doi: 10.3390/nu12113435 PMCID: PMC7696083PMID: 33182430

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