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4th October 2022 – Dairy UK brought consumers, healthcare professionals, academics and industry together to champion the role of dairy in the diets of primary school children.

The celebration included a highly selective and targeted mini campaign on YouTube reaching over 47K parents, promoting tasty and nutritious lunchbox recipes. The goal was to help mums and dads find ways to use dairy foods to create healthy meals for their little ones.

Not forgetting health professionals and academics, Dairy UK also held a celebratory webinar – ‘Nutrition for Life: The Primary School Years’ – which provided the latest evidence-based information about the nutritional and health benefits of dairy. Academics from around the world presented the latest information on the health effects of dairy consumption by children:

Professor René Rizzoli of University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland, discussed the role of dairy on bone health explaining the important role of dairy nutrients and how individuals would need to consume a significant amount of legumes, leafy vegetables or grains to get the same amount of bioavailable calcium as one portion of dairy. Professor Rizzoli’s work outlined how dairy products are valuable for height gain and bone mineral density in children and could have a beneficial effect on bone health later in life.

From the UK, Dr Penny Rumbold of Northumbria University gave attendees an overview of her findings on the health effects of dairy consumption for children. She highlighted the health benefits of dairy for children on their nutritional intakes, hydration, cognitive function, dental and bone health, and appetite control. Dr Rumbold’s work concluded that that cow’s milk is a readily available, accessible and an affordable way of providing essential nutrients to primary school children.

Dr Therese O’Sullivan of Edith Cowan University, Australia picked up the baton and presented the latest evidence on dairy fats and children’s health. Her work looks at the relationship between saturated fats and hearth health, and public health messaging to reduce fats in the diet. Her research suggests that the saturated fats and calories in dairy products do not have a detrimental effect on children’s health, either on their heart health or obesity. Dr O’Sullivan’s work also revealed that children consuming lower fat dairy were shown to seek out more calories from other foods – which often can be less healthy than dairy foods like milk.

Commenting on lunch box campaign and webinar, Dairy UK Nutrition Scientist Lydia Cooper said: “Without a doubt good nutrition is always a must, but in these extraordinary times – where getting as much nutrition as possible for your money is particularly topical – it’s important to remind consumers and healthcare professionals just what a fantastic nutritional package dairy provides to children. We were delighted to be able to be able to bring people together to do that.”

You can access our Webinar Nutrition for Life: The Primary School Years on demand here.