As you probably know, June 1 is World Milk Day. I raised a glass with my kids this year for the 17th annual celebration. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and a mom who wants my kids to make the best nutritional choices, I get a little thrill every time they opt for a glass of milk over other beverage options. That’s because I know that with that choice of one of their favorite drinks, they have selected a nutrient-dense option that will help support their good health now and in the future.
Milk provides nine essential nutrients and is the number one source of calcium in the American diet. It provides protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, potassium and other nutrients. When milk is replaced by other beverages, nutrient goals are hard to meet and diet quality suffers.
Milk is available in a wide range of options: flavored, lactose free, fat free to whole, to allow people to pick their favorite. Whether it’s part of a smoothie, topping cereal, a recovery beverage or just accompanying lunch, there’s a milk option for almost everyone. But yet, most Americans don’t get enough milk each day. For people ages nine and older, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three daily servings.
Of course, I have worked with dairy processors for many years and have many friends and family that are or were dairy farmers, so I’ve always thought that milk is a great beverage choice, for my kids and for Americans in general. But World Milk Day is the perfect time to remind everyone else exactly how important this choice is for good nutrition and health. And with June as National Dairy Month in the U.S., this is a message we can share all month long. So raise a glass to good nutrition!