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Milk Matters: Overview

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created the ChooseMyPlate food guidance system. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are building blocks for a healthy diet. 1 The five food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. View and click on the ChooseMyPlate image to the right for more information.

This interactive module titled, Milk Matters, will focus on dairy. Foods included in the dairy group are milk, cheese, yogurt, milk-based desserts such as ice cream, and calcium-fortified soymilk. Milk is packed with calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. 2 These nutrients will improve bone health and reduce risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is defined as a disease that causes bones to become weak, brittle, and more likely to fracture. 3

Help your child create healthy milk drinking habits. Teach them by setting a good example. Every time you drink fat‐free or low‐fat milk your child learns a lesson in how to eat for better health. 4 Studies show that children who drink milk at an early age are more likely to do so as adults. 5 Children at every age need the nutrients found in milk.

Choose the following types of milk for you and your child's next meal and snack.
 
            • Fat-free; also known as skim milk and nonfat milk
            • Low-fat; also known as 1% milk
            • Reduced-fat; also known as 2% milk

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Additional Resources 

1. ChooseMyPlate. (2014). Choose a food group. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/
2. ChooseMyPlate. (2014). Health benefits and nutrients. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy-why.html
3. ChooseMyPlate. (2014). Dairy group. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers/daily-food-plans/about-dairy.html
4. Mayo Clinic. (2014). Osteoporosis. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/basics/definition/con-20019924
5. USDA. (2014). Milk messages. Retrieved from: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/AllMilkMessages.pdf