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Core Nutrition Message

Use the following tips, advice and guidance with the messages to provide mothers with actionable tips and to build their skills and self-efficacy. You can present this information in a variety of formats, such as posters, handouts, or digital presentations and use during counseling sessions (see communication tools and examples for ideas). The formative research indicated that moms are motivated by information that is new or unique to them and that they found these messages and tips both relevant and realistic.

The tips, advice, and guidance provided below are shown along with suggested messages; however, most of these materials can complement many of the other messages as well. Create the combination that will be most effective for your audience.


For Moms

Show the short milk feeding video to start a group discussion.

Listen to the questions and concerns mothers raise during discussion.

Provide the relevant tips, advice or guidance that addresses concerns or questions moms discussed.

Share the link to the online milk feeding video and the rollover and ask moms to view these at home to reinforce other education and promotion activities.

For Kids

Ask kids to review and complete the “Use the Fuel Up with Milk” activity sheet as part of science or math class.

As homework, have them play the “Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge” game for 30 minutes

Follow-up by asking kids what new information they learned by playing the game?

Moms often ask:  

Q. How much milk does my family need each day?  

A:  The amount of milk we need each day depends on age. Younger kids need 2 cups, while older kids and adults need 3  cups. Here are daily recommendations by age: 

Ask kids to review and complete the “Use the Fuel Up with Milk” activity sheet as part of science or math class.

As homework, have them play the “Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge” game for 30 minutes

Follow-up by asking kids what new information they learned by playing the game?

Moms often ask:  

Q. How much milk does my family need each day?  

A:  The amount of milk we need each day depends on age. Younger kids need 2 cups, while older kids and adults need 3  cups. Here are daily recommendations by age: 

Q. Do my kids get enough milk at school?    

A: Probably not. Most kids only get 1 cup (8 ounces) of low‐fat milk as part of a school lunch. So, to get the recommended amount of milk each day, many kids need to have some at home, too.  

Q. How can I help my family get the milk they need each day?

Try to make milk a part of the meals and snacks kids have at home. A cold glass of milk goes  great with dinner, and after school or play.  

Offer foods made from milk – like low‐fat or fat‐free yogurt – as snacks and  desserts. Eight ounces of yogurt is about the same as a cup of milk.  

You can also try small amounts of low‐fat cheese as snacks. About 1½ ‐ 2 ounces of most types of hard cheese is about the same as a cup of milk. Try cutting an eight‐ounce block of cheese into eight equal, bite‐sized pieces—each piece will be approximately 1 ounce. Plus, a block of cheese is usually less costly than pre‐sliced cheese. If you buy sliced cheese, count each slice as about 1/3 cup of milk. Here are other ideas – check those you plan to try.  

Fat­Free and Low­Fat (1%) Milk Have Nutrients Everyone Needs

Did you know that milk is loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein, with nine (9) key nutrients? Better yet, fat‐free and low‐fat (1%) milk still deliver this nutrition, just without the extra fat that is in whole and reduced‐fat (2%) milk. But many kids are not getting enough milk to keep their bodies growing strong. Here’s what fat‐free and low‐fat milk and the nutrients they contain can do for your family: 

Flex your Mom Power and serve fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk or yogurt to your family for a lifetime of healthy eating. Studies show that adults who drink milk are less likely to have heart disease, type  2 diabetes and high blood pressure.   

One Mom’s Story:  Using “Mom Power” for Good

As a mom, it’s my job to make sure my family gets the foods they need every day – like milk. That’s why I serve fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk to my kids. I also keep low‐fat or fat‐free yogurt and cheese in the house for healthy snacks. This helps my kids eat better, develop healthy habits, and grow strong.  

When it comes to keeping it fun, here are some ideas that work for us:   

Keep fat­free or low­fat (1%) milk in the refrigerator for snacks

A frosty glass of milk tastes great and is an easy way  to refuel kids after play. 

Make it special:

On cold days, we enjoy hot milk with  cinnamon and a touch of vanilla extract. 

Prepare snacks and meals together:

 Once a week, the kids and I make smoothies. We blend together low‐fat (1%) milk, their favorite fruits or 100% fruit juice, and fat‐free yogurt.  

Mix milk, cheese, and yogurt with other foods.

I put plain fat‐free yogurt on baked potatoes. It tastes like sour cream and my kids don’t know the difference. When I make oatmeal, I use low‐fat (1%) milk instead of water for great taste and nutrition. Occasionally, I sprinkle low‐fat cheese on foods like chicken, whole‐grain noodles, and vegetables.   

Q: Does fat­free and low­fat (1%) milk deliver the same good nutrition as whole milk? 

A: Yes. Fat‐free and low‐fat (1%) milk contain the same vitamins and minerals, like calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D and others needed to keep the body growing strong and healthy.  

Q: Why should I switch from whole milk to fat­free or lowfat (1%) milk? 

A: Fat‐free and low‐fat (1%) milk are better for the health of you and your children. They deliver the same nutrients as other milk without the saturated fat. The saturated fat in other milk increases the risk of heart disease. Plus, fat‐free and low‐fat milk have fewer calories. And controlling calorie intake helps manage body weight.  

Q: My family has been drinking whole milk for years. How will I get them to switch to low­fat milk?

A:  Try these tips to help make the switch to low‐fat milk  easy for you and your family:    

Take it slow.If your young child or family is drinking whole milk, first change to reduced‐fat (2%) milk for a few weeks, then switch to low‐fat  (1%) milk. Later, you can try fat‐free milk.   

Try low­fat yogurt.. If some family members don’t  like milk, try offering low‐fat or fat‐free yogurt. 

Try different forms of low­fat cheese. There are many kinds you can try. For example, start with low‐fat cheddar – it’s delicious melted on a whole‐wheat bagel with a little jam. 

One Mom’s Story:

Fat-free and Low-fat (1%) Milk Are Healthier Than Whole Milk. Who Knew?

Milk helps kids grow strong. So it’s important to me that my kids get the milk they need every day. I used to believe that fat-free and low-fat milk were not as healthy as whole milk. Then I learned that they have the same calcium, protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients, just less fat. The saturated fat in other milk increases the risk of heart disease. So, my pediatrician told me that after age 2, kids don’t need that fat. That’s why I made the transition to low-fat (1%) milk. First I switched to 2% milk, then after a couple of weeks I switched to 1%. The kids didn’t even notice. 

One Mom’s Story:

Making the Switch to Fat-Free or Low-Fat (1%) Milk

My little girl is growing up so fast! She just had her second birthday. Last week, her doctor told me I should change her milk to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. He said that now that she is 2, the saturated fat in whole milk is no longer recommended, and that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. He explained that fat-free and low-fat milk have the same vitamins and minerals as whole milk – just without the fat. It's also the same milk she will get at school when she is older.  

Since everyone in my family is 2 or older now, I'm buying 1% fat milk for the whole family. I’ll try fat-free milk after we get used to drinking low-fat milk. I like knowing that fat-free and low-fat milk can help keep our hearts healthy. It also feels good to know I’m helping my daughter learn a healthy habit.  

Moms often ask:

Q. Why is it important for my elementary child to drink milk?

A. Like children of all ages, elementary kids are still growing. So it’s important they drink the recommended amount of fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk to grow healthy and strong. For kids ages 9‐13, that’s about 3 cups of milk  each day. And fat‐free and low‐fat (1%) fat milk contains  nine key nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamin D,  just without the extra saturated fat.  

Q. How do I increase the amount of milk my child gets?

A. Here are some tips moms can use to get their kids to drink more fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk:  

Serve fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk with meals and  snacks. 

Put fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk at eye level in the refrigerator, so kids are more likely to see and ask for a glass or to have it poured over whole‐grain  cereal. 

Add milk to some of your child’s favorite foods, such as soups and oatmeal. For example, make creamy tomato soup instead of classic tomato soup by adding 1% fat milk.

Occasionally, let your kids have some flavored fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk. Compare nutrition labels at the store and choose flavored milks with the least amount of sugar.

Enjoy a glass of low‐fat milk or yogurt with your child. Or, make a parfait together by layering low‐fat yogurt, your favorite fruit, and unsalted nuts or cereal. There are many types of low‐fat milk foods, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One Mom’s Story: Fat­free and Low­fat (1%) Milk are Healthier than Whole Milk. Who Knew?

Milk helps kids grow strong. So it’s important to me that my kids get the milk they need every day. I used to believe that fat‐free  and low‐fat milk were not as healthy as whole milk. Then I  learned that they have the same calcium, protein, vitamin D and other nutrients, just less fat. The saturated fat in other milk increases the risk of heart disease

>My pediatrician told me that after age two, kids don’t need that fat.  That’s why I made the transition to low‐fat (1%) milk. First I  switched to 2% milk, then after a couple of weeks I switched to 1%. The kids didn’t even notice.  

Fuel Their Day With Milk!  

As a mom, I want to make sure my kids get the fuel they need to grow strong, stay healthy, and power their day. That’s why I have fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk on hand. It gives everyone in our family the calcium, protein, and vitamin D we need, without the extra fat from whole milk. Sometimes they like to mix it up, so I keep low‐fat milk products, like fat‐free yogurt and low‐fat cheese, in the fridge, too. I like to think of low‐fat milk, cheese, and yogurt as healthy fuel for my family.   

As a mom, I want to make sure my kids get the fuel they need to grow strong, stay healthy, and power their day. That’s why I have fat‐free or low‐fat (1%) milk on hand. It gives everyone in our family the calcium, protein, and vitamin D we need, without the extra fat from whole milk. Sometimes they like to mix it up, so I keep low‐fat milk products, like fat‐free yogurt and low‐fat cheese, in the fridge, too. I like to think of low‐fat milk, cheese, and yogurt as healthy fuel for my family.   

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