Learn about where your dairy foods come from and the important role they play in keeping you healthy.
Visit NewEnglandDairyCouncil.org to find dairy farming activities and resources like posters, newsletters and their popular “From Farm to You: The Story of Milk” video. Educate your students about agriculture, the food chain and the importance of eating a healthy diet. Remember milk and dairy products are fresh, local and always in season.
For FOOD SERVICE PROVIDERS:
Let your students know how great dairy is, and that milk and other dairy products are produced year-round on farms right here in Massachusetts!
Blurb for your school newsletter or menu:
With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeteria includes products from local farms throughout this school year. March’s Harvest of the Month crop is DAIRY, which will be featured in ___(dish)___ on __(date)______. To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.
Recipes for K-12 school lunches:
When most children think of dairy they think of milk. Use some of these recipes to help them understand how versatile dairy products can be!
- Cheese Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce (Center for Ecoliteracy)
- Cheesy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes (VT Farm to School Network)
- Mac & Trees (VT Farm to School Network)
- Yogurt Angel Biscuits
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- No-Cook Yogurt Feta Dill Sauce
- Cheese Lasagne
- Arroz con Queso (Rice with Cheese)
- Mac and Cheese
Recipes for college dining services:
Get students excited about dairy products! Post these facts on your bulletin board or include them on your lunch menu (you can also find them on the back of the Dairy Harvest of the Month Trading Cards).
- History: Cheese making dates back at least 5,000 years. Archaeologists have seen evidence that cheese was made in ancient Egyptian civilizations.
- Production: A cow produces an average of 6.3 gallons of milk daily. That’s more than 2,300 gallons each year and 350,000 glasses of milk in its lifetime!
- Fun Fact: The average cow eats about 100 pounds of food and drinks 30-50 gallons of water each day — about a bathtub’s worth!
- Nutrition: An 8-ounce glass of milk supplies 30% of your daily calcium needs and a cup of yogurt supplies up to 45%! Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth.
For TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Here are some ideas for how to integrate dairy-themed activities into classrooms and school gardens.
Text for morning announcements
“Good morning, this is _____, with a Harvest of the Month soundbite. This month we are featuring LOCAL DAIRY PRODUCTS in the cafeteria. Did you know that it takes two-and-a-half gallons of milk to make one pound of butter? Look for Massachusetts dairy products from local farms (name the farm(s) you’re purchasing from, if you can) in school lunches this month. Can you taste the difference?”
The New England Dairy & Food Council offers great local dairy resources for the classroom setting. Visit their website to access a wealth of information on how to connect your greater school community to the local dairy being highlighted in the cafeteria this month.
- Lesson plans that incorporate dairy products can be found via National Agriculture in the Classroom.
- This collection of handouts about dairy includes materials for a range of ages and subjects, from math to vocabulary.
- Make ice cream in the classroom!
- This set of lesson plans includes economics, math, history, and great activities like making butter (page 25)
For FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS
Share this information and try a dairy recipe at home!
- Check out our family newsletter, with nutrition information, fun facts, and great ideas for snacks using dairy!
- Make delicious Ricotta Cheese at home!
- Make yogurt without buying any special equipment.
- Make ice cream without any special equipment.
Thank you to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for helping to make Harvest of the Month possible.