School Meals

School meals that include dairy play an important role in the health and well being of all students, but especially students experiencing food insecurity.

Milk, with its 9 essential nutrients, including protein, calcium and vitamin D, is an important part of school meal programs. Many school breakfast and lunch programs also offer nutrient-rich yogurt and cheese to ensure that students get the nutrition they need.

We support schools in making sustainable changes to the school nutrition environment that will increase participation in meal programs and, more importantly, increase students’ intake of nutrient-rich foods.  One out of two kids, ages 9 and up, aren’t getting enough calcium, vitamin D and potassium – essential nutrients they need to grow strong – and dairy milk is the top food source of these nutrients in the diet (1,2). Serving dairy in innovative ways, like hot chocolate milk or smoothies at breakfast, can be a great way to increase participation AND bridge nutrient gaps.

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Appendix E-2.1. First Print, 2015.
  2. Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Quann EE, Auestad N. Food sources of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and potassium in the U.S. The FASEB Journal. 2010;24:325.1.
More about

Dairy & School Meals

  • girl drinking chocolate milk pointing to sign saying "milk is a must"
    School Breakfast

    Looking for resources to help increase participation in this underutilized program? We can help.

    Learn More
  • Smoothies

    Kids love smoothies and we love the nutrition they provide. Add this popular item to your menu.

    Learn More
  • Woman holding a baby while they both hold glass of milk
    Dairy Farm to School

    Highlight local dairy and teach your students where their favorite dairy foods come from.

    Get Started
  • Hot chocolate milk machines with Fuel Up to Play 60 Banner
    Hot Chocolate Milk

    We have resources to support adding hot chocolate milk to your menu.

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  • 3 flavors of milk
    Flavored Milk

    Feel good about flavored milk and the nutrition it provides.

    Learn More
  • young girl holding lunch tray with apple
    School FAQs

    Get answers to your dairy and school meals questions.

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students holding oversized check for Uxbridge high school

School Nutrition Equipment

Marketing and promoting healthy options is an effective way to encourage students to make better meal choices.  Through grant opportunities, New England Dairy may be able to help your school with the purchase of commercial quality equipment to support increasing consumption of healthy foods in your school meals program . Whether you want to focus on point-of-purchase, cafeteria restyle or breakfast, we can help provide you with examples to get you started.

View Equipment Options

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