World School Milk Day 2021 takes place on 29 September this year.

It is celebrated on the last Wednesday in September every year.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue highlighted the importance of the school milk scheme for Irish schoolkids.

Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to support the school milk scheme, which provides school-going children with one of their recommended daily portions of dairy as a convenient and nutritious drink during their school day."

The Minister urged primary schools to sign up to the scheme.

Inadequate calcium

National Dairy Council (NDC) nutrition manager Dr Marianne Walsh said: “The most recent national children’s food survey shows that over one third of Irish children aged five to 12 years have inadequate calcium intakes.

"Milk is one of the best dietary sources of calcium, a nutrient that is well recognised for its important role in normal bone growth and development.

"Childhood and the adolescent years are particularly important for forming healthy bones."

Dietary needs

Three servings from the milk, yogurt and cheese food group are recommended per day for kids aged five to eight years.

Five daily servings are recommended for kids aged nine to 18 years.

“As part of a balanced diet, a daily 200ml serving of milk also provides us with protein, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12 - each playing a variety of important roles for our health.

"For example, iodine contributes to normal cognitive function; vitamin B2 assists with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue; while vitamin B12 plays a role in immune function,” explained Marianne.

Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue on World School Milk Day 2021.

To celebrate World School Milk Day, the NDC is inviting all participating children to enter into a colouring competition to win one of three pairs of signed Kellie Harrington boxing gloves, as well as one €500 sports equipment voucher for their school.

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Olympic gold medallist and Moo Crew ambassador Kellie Harrington credits her sporting success to "hard work, eating the right food and getting plenty of rest".


Kellie said: "I’m delighted to be an ambassador for the Moo Crew school milk scheme and I’m really excited to be able to share some of my top tips with today’s kids starting out and hopefully inspire them to go on to achieve great things.”

Registrations for the school milk scheme for the 2021/2022 school year are now open, but only children in participating schools can avail of this service.

Paper straws

Avonmore school milk will be supplied with paper straws to support its sustainability agenda. The milk will also come in a recyclable Tetra Pak carton.

The switch to paper straws will save 2.7t of plastic per annum or the equivalent weight of two average-sized cars.

Dr Marianne Walsh said: "Sustainable dairy is at the heart of our processes. The move to more environmentally friendly straws is another step on our sustainability journey."