School Nutrition Heroes
In honor of National School Breakfast Week (March 4th to 8th ), school nutrition directors have found fun and creative new ways to nourish children. One of the ways is through the Hot Chocolate Milk program, which provides a delicious and nutritious option for students to enjoy at school. With schools already offering milk as an option for students at meals, warming up chocolate milk is easy and provides a fun option for students to enjoy as their milk choice. This tasty drink is creatively offered as a grab-and-go option, through in-classroom delivery, and in the cafeteria. Many schools offer a toppings bar so students can spice up their drinks with cocoa powder, crushed peppermint, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon, just to name a few. It’s a delicious culinary creation that students get to make.
Benefits of the Hot Chocolate Milk program include:
- Students enjoying a tasty menu option while consuming essential nutrients: 13 to be exact!
- Schools increasing breakfast participation: Pilot schools increased daily breakfast participation by more than 10 percent. Participation not only ensures students are nourished and ready to learn, but also supports the school meals program.
- Generates excitement for nutritious milk and school meals: a win-win!
Just one serving of milk provides 13 essential nutrients: protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and cobalamin (B12), iodine, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Encouraging milk consumption during the prime developmental years can help children build strong bones and teeth, supports tissue growth, and helps protect healthy cells from damage (5). Furthermore, these essential nutrients help maintain a healthy immune system and contribute to normal growth and development (5). There is nourishment in every cup!