New scheme to help children learn about the benefits of milk

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The Children’s Food Trust (CFT) and school milk supplier Cool Milk have teamed up to launch a national health initiative promoting the benefits of milk consumption.

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Dr Hilary Jones at Awsworth Primary School in Nottinghamshire

The new interactive DVD, ‘The Cool Milk Show’, aims to give primary school children a better understanding of where milk comes from and why it is good for concentration, growth, behaviour and development.

Participating schools can show the DVD as part of an assembly or in the classroom, and will also receive lesson plans developed by the CFT in line with the national curriculum. The programme aims to teach children how cows are milked, how milk is processed, packaged and delivered to schools, and why milk is good for them. They will also receive a book by children’s author Caryl Hart to take home and read with their parents.

Health editor on ITV’s Daybreak Dr Hilary Jones attended the official launch at Awsworth Primary School in Nottinghamshire to further explain the benefits of drinking milk.

He said, ‘Milk is a very important part of overall nutrition for children. It also provides them with a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, protein and other nutrients to keep them healthy. It is absolutely packed with nutrients and while children are drinking milk they’re less likely to consume sugary drinks such as fruit juice and fizzy drinks.’

Awsworth Primary School headteacher Jane Mainprize said she was pleased with the campaign. ‘The children absolutely loved watching the DVD and were up on their feet dancing and singing and really getting involved,’ she said. ‘It’s a really effective teaching aid and along with the book will help us to get the message across to children and parents of the importance of milk to growing children.’

More than 700 schools have signed up to participate in the Cool Milk Show so far.

The launch follows Cool Milk’s three-month campaign to mark World School Milk Day. MPs across the country visited schools and nurseries in their constituencies to act as milk monitors for the day, handing out milk and teaching children about the nutritional benefits it provides.

A total of 150 MPs took part, including chair of the public accounts committee Margaret Hodge, minister of state at the Department of Health Norman Lamb and Sharon Hodgson, shadow minister for education.

Currently 1.5 million children under the age of five who attend a day care or early years setting for two or more hours a day in England, Scotland and Wales receive a free 189ml serving of milk. Children over the age of five in primary education are entitled to subsidised milk.

The Department of Health held a consultation into the Nursery Milk Scheme, which covers 55,000 childcare settings providing milk to under-fives, in June 2012, but has not yet published its response.