World School Milk Day
World School Milk Day is held all over the world on the last Wednesday of September every year to celebrate the benefits and success of school milk programmes.
The first World School Milk Day was celebrated in September 2000 and has since become an annual event promoted by the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations).
In the UK, our history of school milk spans back over 100 years to the Provision of Meals Act 1906. This recognised that the provision of school food would allow needy and undernourished children to benefit more from education. Also, that milk was a food that could be provided to children to prevent poor nutrition.
After the Great Depression and the World Wars malnutrition among children was a great concern. So school milk schemes were introduced and developed. Throughout the 20th century, the provision of milk to school children has helped combat undernutrition in times of scarcity.
School Milk Today
Milk and dairy products continue to play a role in children’s diets today. A carton of school milk provides a 4-6 year old with:
52% of their recommended calcium intake
59% of their recommended iodine intake
100% of their recommended vitamin B12 intake
59% of their recommended B2 intake.
For older children aged 7-10 years, a carton of milk provides:
42% of their recommended calcium intake
53% of their recommended iodine intake
100% of their recommended vitamin B12
47% of their recommended B2 intake.
Milk also provides energy and protein for their growth and development.
World School Milk Day is celebrated in many countries, with an increasing number of activities taking place each year. Schools and milk providers are free to celebrate as they wish. Celebrations can be at any level – from national or regional events to individual schools. Find out more about dairy and health for primary school children.