National Dairy Month was originally created in 1937 as National Milk Month as a way to promote drinking milk when there was an extra supply of milk during the warmer months of summer. Then in 1939, June became the National Dairy Month because of research that supported the positive contributions dairy products make to our overall health and well-being.
What better way to kick off summer than with nutrient-rich dairy products? Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D which are important for building strong bones and teeth as well as promotes muscle maintenance. These essential vitamins and minerals that dairy provide can help protect us against obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain cancers, and osteoporosis.
For your family to receive all the benefits that dairy products have to offer, it is recommended that children consume between 2-3 cups of dairy daily depending on their age while adults should have about 3 cups of dairy daily. According to the MyPlate food model, a serving of dairy could look like 1 cup of yogurt or milk as well as 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese.
When choosing dairy products, it is important to choose low-fat or fat-free options when available. Some dairy foods are high in cholesterol and saturated fats which can lead to negative health effects. By limiting full-fat dairy products, it will help to keep blood cholesterol levels within a health range as well as decrease the amount of calories eaten throughout the day which can help maintain a healthy weight.
Written by Sarah Michaels – University of Idaho Dietetic Student (2020)
Choose MyPlate. (n.d.). All about the Dairy Group. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/dairy
International Dairy Foods Association. (n.d.). June is National Dairy Month. Retrieved from https://www.idfa.org/june-is-national-dairy-month
The Dairy Alliance. (n.d.). June Dairy Month. Retrieved from https://thedairyalliance.com/dairy-farming/june-dairy-month/