On this page you will find links to a range of information to assist with the development and implementation of school milk programs. If you have information you would like to share, please contact us
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Programs around the world
School milk and wider feeding programs contribute to the good health and nutrition of school children around the world.
There are a wide range programs in place, either dedicated school milk
programs or integrated in wider school feeding, with the number of programs increasing each year. Schools and milk providers implement programs in a range of ways – from national or regional level to individual schools.
Find out more about school milk in your part of the world.
Dairy in global guidelines
Milk is a nutrient-dense food that provides significant value to school meals and nourishing students. Highly palatable, milk—along with other dairy foods—play an important role in the diet of children.
Reflecting this important contribution, milk and dairy products are frequently included in food-based dietary guidelines.
What are global dietary guidelines and why are they important?
Food-based dietary guidelines are intended to establish a basis for public food and nutrition, health and agricultural policies and nutrition education programs to foster healthy eating habits and lifestyles. The guidelines provide advice on foods, food groups and dietary patterns to provide the required nutrients to the general public to promote overall health and prevent chronic diseases.
The FAO database on dietary guidelines show that currently 94 countries have dietary guidelines with 100% of them advising the consumption of dairy. This is in support of the overwhelming evidence that the consumption of dairy foods are part of healthy dietary patterns and are associated with positive health outcomes.
Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt offer essential nutrients that help nourish people throughout life.
Read more about global insights on school feeding and recommendations on dairy consumption, with specific reference to school feeding and nutrition:
- State of School Feeding Worldwide 2020 (UN World Food Programme)
- Nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program (USDA)
- Chinese Association for Student Nutrition and Health Promotion
- Dairy’s role in healthy and sustainable diets (IDF)
- School Feeding Handbook (Tetra Laval)
- GCNF School Meal Programmes Around the World_Report 2021_
Useful links to information
Get in touch with organizations promoting, supporting and/or implementing school milk programs in around the world
- FAO School Milk Info
- FAO School Food and Nutrition
- EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme
- FEPALE – The Pan American Dairy Federation
- Tetra Pak School Feeding & Nutrition
- The Partnership for Child Development – School Nutrition
- Global Child Nutrition Foundation
- World Bank – SABER School Health & School Feeding
- World Food Programme (WFP) School Meals
Educational support & resources
Many school milk programs are supported by educational measures. This can include lessons, but can also include farm visits, tasting and cooking workshops, activities, and games.
These can help to reconnect children to agriculture and teach them about healthy eating habits, along with important issues such as local food chains, organic farming, sustainable production, and topics like recycling and food waste.
Educational activities may also involve teachers and parents as they are role models for children’s healthy eating habits and lifestyles, with promotion of the benefits of active lifestyles through the distribution of physical education packs to schools.
School milk inspiration!
Click on the links below for a wide range of educational resources, templates and ideas for use
Learn more about school milk
Find out more about school milk programs around the world.
Related reports & publications
IDF provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and other information on a whole range of topics relevant to the dairy sector.
Bulletin of the IDF N° 505/2020: The contribution of school milk programmes to the nutrition of chi...
School milk programmes are common in many countries around the world, for good reason. The benefits of providi....
Bulletin of the IDF N° 480/ 2015: The contribution of school milk programmes to the nutrition of ch...
Good nutrition is important for people of all ages. During childhood, good nutrition promotes normal growth an....
IDF Factsheet 11/ 2020: Dairy’s role in supporting a healthy immune system...
While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent COVID-19 infection, evidence shows that a healthy diet and g....