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The National Dairy Council is pleased to announce a new initiative under First 5 for pre-schools under which targeted School Milk trials will be conducted in twelve Early Learning and Care settings in Carlow and Kilkenny in February and March 2020. This initiative is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the EU’s School Milk Scheme.
Childhood and the adolescent years are critical life stages for forming healthy bones. Milk is among the best sources of calcium – a nutrient needed for normal bone growth and development. The objective of the pilot is to cultivate and contribute to the development of healthy eating habits for pre-school children, to create a positive lasting impression of dairy produce and to help pre-school children meet their nutrient needs by consuming the recommended number of daily servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group. An additional objective is to connect children to agriculture and develop a greater understanding of where their food comes from.
During the 3 weeks trials, the pre-school children will be given a daily serving of milk. In addition, the children will receive the benefit of bespoke educational resources which have been developed to support the pilot and its objectives, including Moo Crew booklets, posters, journals, stickers and jigsaws - emphasising the benefits of dairy as part of a bone and tooth friendly diet and lifestyle; and the importance of understanding the ‘Grass to Glass’ story. Children will also receive a visit from a farmer and Milly the Cow.