How Milk Serves Up Good Nutrition for Kids

Moms want to provide good nutrition for kids that will help them to grow up healthy and strong, like members of Team Milk.  When moms set the example and eat nutritious meals and snacks themselves, kids notice. In fact, moms who drink milk are more likely to have kids who drink milk, which is the top food source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium – three nutrients that are most often lacking in Americans’ diets.

Beach volleyball player and U.S. Olympian Jennifer Kessy knows this well. From vitamin D to natural, high-quality protein, milk provides many nutrients important to her diet — both while training as well as her off days. And she makes sure her young daughter will follow in her footsteps and starts her day off with milk because it’s a nutrient powerhouse and a staple she can have wherever they travel.

“It’s important for my daughter to drink milk growing up, just like I did. There are so many nutrients in every glass of milk. I want her to create this lifelong healthy habit of milk at breakfast just like me,” Jennifer Kessy said.

The Importance of Breakfast for Kids

Understanding the importance of breakfast for kids is key to good childhood nutrition. Not all breakfasts are created equal, and a morning meal that includes high-quality protein, like the 8 grams of natural protein contained in milk, helps to fuel your body for the day ahead. Protein at breakfast helps everyone start the morning with energy and focus, which can help kids perform their best in the classroom. Studies show breakfast eaters may have better school attendance and test scores and are better able to pay attention compared to skippers. 

Milk’s Nutrients Deliver a Nutrient Powerhouse for Kids

It’s hard to get the nutrients you need without milk in your diet. Each 8-ounce glass helps serve the nutrients you and your kids need, including:

  • Bone-building nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus
  • B vitamins (Riboflavin, B-12 and Niacin) for energy
  • Potassium to help regulate the balance of fluids in your body
  • Protein to help build and maintain lean muscle
  • Vitamin A for a healthy immune system

Milk’s nutrients are an essential part of a healthy eating plan for kids, which is important for moms planning healthy meals for their kids. Consider this: Many moms of Team USA athletes served milk. In fact, in a recent survey, nine out of 10 U.S. Olympian respondents said they grew up drinking milk on the road to the world stage.And, 83 percent of the milk drinkers who responded credit their moms who encouraged them to do so. 2

Why Is It Important to Serve Protein, Like Milk’s Protein, to Kids?

Kids’ growing bodies need protein foods, like milk which delivers natural, high-quality protein, because from muscles to hair, bones to teeth, the body requires protein to be healthy and strong. In addition, protein impacts many different functions, including:

  • Building lean muscle – Protein supplies your body with the amino acids it needs to build strong muscles. Getting enough protein in your diet, along with exercise, helps build and repair muscle.
  • Keeping you fuller, longer – Getting enough protein, more than carbohydrates or fats, can help you feel full, and satisfied with your meal which means you may not feel hungry again mid-morning.
  • Maintaining bone health – Along with key bone-building nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, protein also helps build healthy bones

Milk’s nutrition facts are simple: With 9 essential nutrients, adding a glass of low fat or skim milk is an easy way to boost the nutrition for both children and adults at meals.

Milk is important part of Team Milk athlete and U.S. Olympic medalist Caitlin Leverenz’s diet, even from a young age. Her mother served milk with meals — and that made a strong impression on her.

“There always was a glass of milk on the table, and we always finished it before we were done with dinner,” swimmer Caitlin Leverenz said. “It’s just been present in my diet throughout my whole life.”

How Breakfast Can Reinforce Healthy Eating for Kids

Healthy eating for kids helps them grow and learn, and serving a nutritious breakfast every morning helps kids get a good start in the morning. Healthy eating habits are created over time — and reinforcing those lessons with healthy choices will lead to lifelong habits.

5 Tips to Help Streamline Breakfast on Busy School Mornings:

  1. Stock your kitchen and pantry with nutritious breakfast options, like milk.
  2. Pack backpacks and lunches the night before.
  3. Get the family up 10 minutes earlier.
  4. Share breakfast planning and preparation with your kids.
  5. Have grab-and-go breakfast alternatives ready to send with kids in case you’re running late. 

5 Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas to Serve with Milk That Kids Will Love

PB&J Protein Power Muffins

Serve two childhood favorites, milk and PB&J muffins, in a hurry in the morning.

Homemade Pop Pastries

Kids are sure to love this homemade version of a popular breakfast, perfect to pair with a glass of milk. 

Egg, Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Puzzle Sandwich

Try this twist on a breakfast sandwich and cut the pieces into puzzle shapes. Serve with an 8-ounce glass of milk. 

Snickerdoodle Donuts

When the mood for donuts strike, try this easy recipe to craft a favorite breakfast at home. These donuts are perfect to dunk in a glass of milk. 

Spicy Breakfast Pizza

Pizza for breakfast is an easy way to serve a traditional dinner for a delicious twist in the morning. Serve with an 8-ounce glass of milk.

[1] 9 out of 10 finding based on 675 responses received from survey invitations sent to U.S. Olympians.

[2] KRC Research conducted an online survey among retired, current, and hopeful U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes on behalf of MilkPEP via the U.S. Olympic Committee between February 23 and March 7, 2016. The U.S. Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies distributed e-mail invitations with a link to the survey to its retired, current, and hopeful athletes inviting them to participate. In total, 1,113 completed the ten-minute survey (675 Olympians, 93 Paralympians, and 345 hopefuls in training).