January 31, 2019

New Legislation To Allow Whole Milk In School Cafeterias

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

A new piece of legislation called the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019 (H.R. 832) will allow whole milk to be allowed in school nutrition programs.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. 

“Milk is the No. 1 source of nine essential nutrients in the diets of our students. But if they don’t drink it, these health benefits are lost,” Rep. Thompson said in a press release on his official website. “Milk consumption has been declining in schools throughout the nation because kids are not consuming the varieties of milk being made available to them. It is my hope that the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act will bring a wider range of milk options to American lunchrooms so students can choose the kind they love best.”

Adding whole milk to school menus reflects research showing that such products benefit children and gives school administrators one more tool with which to develop healthy eating habits, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

“Whole milk provides yet another way for children to receive dairy’s nutritional benefits as part of a healthy eating pattern,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This bill encourages the proper nutrition they need to lead healthy lives.”

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) also applauds the new legislation. 

“We thank Rep. Thompson for his leadership and Chairman Peterson for being an original co-sponsor on this bill to allow schools more flexibility to offer the same types of milk that children and teens enjoy at home. Providing expanded milk options will help ensure that students get the nutrients that milk uniquely provides, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium,” said Michael Dykes, DVM, president and CEO of IDFA.

The American Dairy Coalition hopes this bill will develop a new generation of milk drinkers in an age when fluid consumption of milk is in decline. They urge all dairy producers, allied businesses and employees of the dairy industry to reach out to their federal legislators and ask them to support H.R. 832, the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019.