Got Milk? Why Dairy is Important for Children

Got Milk? Why Dairy is important for Children
Posted on 12/11/2018
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So how much dairy should they be eating everyday? According to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association, children between the ages of 4 and 8 should be consuming 2-3 servings of dairy products and children between 9 and 18, the recommendation is 3 servings. The most nutrient-rich options include non-fat/low-fat milk, fortified soymilk, and yogurt.

In 2016, the Farmington School District participated in the Minnesota Student Survey, which asked 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th grade students about their beverage intake over the past day. Out of 1780 students, only 30% are drinking 3 or more cups of milk each day. Nearly a quarter of students said they didn’t drink any milk at all in the past day. If they aren’t drinking enough milk, then what are they drinking instead? 52% reported drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage, such as sweet tea, lemonade, coffee drinks or juice drinks. The second most popular drink was pop, with 35% reporting they had at least one can or bottle. Another 27% said they drank a sports drink (i.e. Gatorade) and 6% drank an energy drink (i.e. Red Bull).

To avoid displacing dairy consumption with sugar-laden beverages, encourage your children to make healthier choices by stocking the fridge with milk or soymilk. Let’s work towards improving these numbers for the 2019 survey! For more information about nutrition recommendations or the Minnesota Student Survey results, click on the links below.


Supported by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Minnesota Department of Health and Dakota County Public Health Department.