Healthy Children - June 2015

Build a Healthy Plate with Milk

How can I serve fat-free and low-fat milk?

  • Offer unflavored, fat-free, and low-fat milks most often. They have less added sugar and fewer calories than flavored, whole, or reduced-fat milk.
  • Offer lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk to children who are lactose-intolerant or, upon a parent’s written request, a preapproved nondairy milk (for example, soy) to children who can’t consume cow’s milk. Handle milk substitutions on a case-by-case basis and contact your State agency or sponsoring organization if additional guidance is needed.


How can I encourage children to choose fat-free and low-fat milk?

  • Make food fun. Make up a song that is associated with drinking milk, and sing it when milk is being served.
  • Do a milk taste-test. Let kids sample low-fat (1%) milk and fat-free milk and pick their favorite. Low-fat milk and fat-free milk have less calories and saturated fat than reduced-fat (2%) milk and whole milk but do not reduce calcium or other important nutrients.
  • Create your own Milk Mustache Event! Take pictures of children drinking low-fat milk and post them on a bulletin board. Blend together low-fat milk with frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream for  the Milk Mustache activity. For more fun, include adults and parents.


Enjoy milk often. The children in your care are looking at the choices you make. Choose fat-free or low-fat milk as your beverage of choice during meal and snack times.