Ideas to help with your school milk provision

Ideas to help with your school milk provision

Once the decision has been made to provide milk in your school and whether you are a primary or secondary school, the following ideas may assist in ensuring its continuing success.

  • Where the Government fruit and vegetable scheme for KS1 pupils is operating, give out milk to be drunk at the same time - this will provide a very healthy snack, and allow other pupils to see milk being drunk in a positive social environment.
  • Use pupils as Milk Monitors.  This not only benefits their mathematical and social skills but also their self-esteem.  Reward them with merit/milk monitor certificates or stickers. Order your free stickers from our education resource section
  • When the milk is given out, children who do not want milk or water should sit down quietly with the others.  Some schools refer to this as snack and chat time.  Letting them out to play sooner than the milk drinkers will make the milk provision less popular as children will seek to maximise their playtime!  Alternatively, if children are drinking their milk in the playground, allow the milk drinkers to leave class/assembly first.
  • Support your teaching in different curriculum areas by focusing on where food comes from and how it is produced. Understanding where our food comes from, and how it is produced, helps individuals make more informed choices about their diet. use our newly developed resources in class:

    Dairy Farming - food a fact of life

    The Farm visit - food a fact of life

  • If there is a healthy tuck shop in the school, consider selling milk possibly as a "meal deal" eg, a piece of fruit and a carton of milk for Xp - some schools operate this scheme as an annual Year 6 or older project (either profit or non-profit making).
  • Some schools give out the milk at the end of morning break.  This gives the children a chance to wind down and sit quietly.  Teachers find this is a way of using what would otherwise be wasted time.
  • Healthy Eating weeks - use teaching time about healthy eating to discuss the benefits of drinking milk along with eating healthily.  Children could be encouraged to devise poems or stories to encourage healthy eating and drinking as part of this. 
  • Ask the children to produce some school milk posters to encourage their friends to drink milk or run a competition and place posters around the school in areas where both parents and children can see them.
  • School assembly - try contacting your local dairy farmer to invite them to come into the school to talk to the children via an assembly or in class about dairy farming and milk production. For further information please see Farm Visits
  • This works for both primary and secondary schools. Get the children involved via the School council - ask for their ideas to increase milk drinking in school.  This can also be used to find out reasons children are not drinking milk in school and what can be done to change this.  Canvass parents at AGM/PTA meetings for feedback.
  • Raise parental awareness of the availability of milk through regular entries in the school newsletter.
  • Involve your students in developing their own school milk programme. Give them the responsibility of planning the launch, sourcing and pricing the product, and for advertising and promotion to their peers. Not only does this help to engage the children, you can ensure that this activity fits in with the curriculum and helps them to develop essential skills.
  • Milk tastes better and has a greater uptake within a school if it is served chilled. Check with your LA/local dairy if they supply fridges/cool boxes or ask the PTA to raise funds for one
  • If there is a breakfast club on site, consider using cartons of milk as a healthy drink to start the day.
  • Lunch time milk - Experience shows that the best place to increase milk drinking is at break time in comparison to milk provided at lunch. However, this is not always an option for schools where the milk is included in the price of lunch. Best practice can be used here also.
  • Some secondary schools have gone down the route of introducing a healthy vending machine which includes the provision of milk and yogurt.
  • Where possible allow the children to select their own milk carton either from a fridge or cold tray.  Position the milk at the front of the fridge.  Use brightly coloured serving counters with milk posters in the dining room. Some schools encourage the children to drink their milk at lunch time by providing reward stickers.
  • Many schools are now eco friendly and should be encouraged to take part in recycling schemes, part of which will include carton recycling.  Encouraging participation in this way can assist the school in achieving awards.
  • For additional ideas on providing milk in school please see case studies