Over the past few years, milk processors have worked diligently in order to provide a milk beverage for students with less calories and sugar, while still providing students with a great tasting and nutritious drink. In just five years, flavored-milk served in schools, now contains 38% less sugar than it once did, as well as a mere 31 additional calories than white milk. Best of all, studies show that in children’s diets, flavored milk contains only 3% of added sugars as opposed to traditional soft drinks and fruit drinks, which contribute for nearly 50% of sugar. In addition to the lower sugar and calories, now many schools include fat free and low-fat options in the school lunch line.
With the overwhelming nutritional benefits, it’s important to attract students to make the right decision – drinking milk. Milk companies and vendors start by improving its appearance and offering fun packaging in different sizes. Schools are also realizing that consumption of milk is at it’s highest when it’s readily available. Placing milk in vending machines and in milk coolers in the cafeteria line allows for all day access. Even after the cafeteria is closed, those who play sports or are in after-school clubs will still be able to get milk. The best way to encourage drinking milk is by making it accessible, attractive, and easy to find. Milk coolers are a great way to not only display milk, but also keep it at its optimum temperature. With the installation of milk cooler, students are more exposed to the product and see it as an attractive drink option (especially if they are not getting enough of the vitamin-packed thirst quencher at home).
Although schools realize the benefits, milk coolers can be quite the cost for many institutions. Yet in many states – including Oregon, Idaho, Vermont, and Michigan – it is possible for schools to apply for grant funding in order to defray the cost of milk coolers. Fuel Up To Play 60 as well as Strive for 35 Degrees are two funding programs that offer grants to qualifying schools across the United States. The ultimate goal of these programs, as well as other funding programs, are to ensure schools with limited resources can obtain a milk cooler to offer nutritious beverages to growing students.
If you believe your school or educational organization qualifies for a subsidized milk cooler, please look into one of the several government-funded milk programs across the U.S. Promote the consumption of milk at your local school by installing a milk cooler, and ensure that the student body is offered healthful options packed with vitamins and more beneficial ingredients than the sugary, high calorie alternatives.