World School Milk Day Celebrations 2017

The first World School Milk Day (WSMD) was celebrated during September 2000 and has since become an annual global event. In South Africa, WSMD was celebrated by the MPO for the first time in 2004. The aim of the celebration is to increase awareness and highlight the significance of milk in a balanced diet, where milk comes from, how it is processed, and the nutritional benefits and the importance of milk for growing children.

School Milk Day celebrations in 2017 will be a collaborative effort for the first time between the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), National School Nutrition Project (NSNP),  Department of Basic Education (DBE) and  Milk SA Consumer Education Project (CEP).

On 27, 28 and 29 September 2017, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and six Provincial Education Departments (namely Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and North West) will join countries around the world to mark and celebrate WSMD under the theme “Dairy Gives You Go”.  An important part of the campaign is the distribution of milk, amasi or yogurt sponsored by milk processors in the region to school children at participating schools. Quizz competitions will also be held at the relevant schools with the winners from Grade 0 to Grade 7 receiving prizes.

The DBE, in collaboration with the Milk Producers Organisation (MPO) and Consumer Education Project (CEP) of Milk South Africa will join in the national main event that will be taking place at the Groot Brakrivier Primary School in the Eden Karoo District, Western Cape.

Details of all the WSMD celebrations are as follows:

Province Processor/Sponsor Name of School Number of learners Date
Eastern Cape Woodlands Dairy Graslaagte Primary School, Humansdorp 1 923 27 September 2017
Coega Dairy / MPO Coega Primary School, Port Elizabeth 1 182 19 October 2017
Free State C lover/ MPO Unity Primary School, Bloemfontein 2031 28 September 2017
Gauteng Clover/ MPO Esikhisini Primary  School, Pretoria 620 28 September 2017
Kwa-Zulu Natal Dairy Day   Isibongo Primary, Howick 1 017 28 September 2017
North West Transem

Wynn-with Milk

Padi Primary School, Potchefstroom

Mponeng Primary School, Potchefstroom



28 September 2017

29 September 2017

Western Cape Parmalat/MPO Groot Brakrivier Primary School Eden Karoo District, 1018 27 September 2017

Milk is a protein that plays a vital role in growth and development, immunity and the health of bones, skin, and nerves. Benefits from milk products such as cheese, butter and cottage cheese are essential to maintaining good health and is a great source of calcium for all ages. Milk contains important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, protein and potassium. it is important that learners must have foods from milk, maas or yoghurt group daily to ensure their optimal development.

The participating schools in the six provinces were presented with learning material developed by Milk SA’s CEP, to guide teachers and educate learners about the nutrition and health benefits of milk and other dairy products. The learning material is based on the requirements of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and consists of two main topics for the Foundation Phase (Grades 1 to 3) and Intermediate Phase (Grades 4 to 7). In addition, there will be a quiz and a competition with eight winners at each school receiving dairy hampers and stationary packs donated by MPO and various milk processors.

The DBE continues to work together with public private partnership to support initiatives to strengthen nutrition education in schools to enhance healthy lifestyles among learners, educators, school administrators, parents, food handlers, school vendors and tuck-shop operators. The NSNP, which currently feeds approximately 9 million learners in 20,619 schools, aims to enhance the learning capacity of targeted learners in public primary, secondary and identified special schools. Milk is provided at schools once a week as part of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).

National School Milk Day

Key messages and supportive material

Milk and other dairy products is good for you because it contains

1. Calcium, which helps to build strong bones and teeth
The skeleton is the framework onto which all our muscles are attached. It is almost like a foundation of a house: it needs to be strong.

We need strong bones:

  • for a good posture – standing up straight
  • to walk
  • to do our work
  • to play sport
  • to grow properly and play (children)
  • to stay strong and independent (self-sufficient) when we grow old. The nutrient calcium in milk, maas, yoghurt and cheese helps you to form strong bones.

What happens when you do not have enough dairy in your diet?

  • You will not have enough calcium in your body.
    From a baby, throughout your growing years as a child and a teenager and up to the age of 30 years, your body can build strong bones. Calcium is deposited in your bones to form a strong foundation. From then on you have to maintain your strong bones. You can compare it to a savings account at the bank. You have built up strong bones over 30 years – this is the balance in your ‘bone-strength bank account’.
  • If you do not consume enough calcium as a child, and specifically as a teenager, you might not be able to deposit enough calcium in your bones to maintain your bones until old age.
  • This may lead to decalcification of your bones later in life. This leads to a condition we call osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is called a silent disease of age (you don’t know you have it until it is too late). Your back becomes bent, your bones start crumbling and bone fractures become more evident. This can be a very painful illness.

Did you know?

  • An adult needs 1000 mg of calcium a day.
  • Teenagers need 1300 mg of calcium per day.
  • During the teenage years 50% of your potential bone strength is formed with the help of the calcium that you take in from your diet. Therefore, teenagers specifically need to take in enough calcium to ensure strong bones.
  • Other sources of calcium are sardines, almonds, broccoli, spinach/marogo and white beans.

1 glass (250 ml) of milk = 300 mg calcium = 2 cups of cooked spinach
= 3 ½ cups of baked beans
= 7 cups cooked broccoli
= 9 cups of cooked cabbage
= 2½ cups peanuts
= 7 sardines with bone

2. Protein, which helps you build muscles and lets your body grow

Childhood and adolescence are two very important stages for both physical and mental development. A suitable diet should ensure that all nutrient requirements are met in order to protect current and future health, but should also be enjoyable!

Food and eating mean more than only the provision of nutrients for body growth and maintenance.

Children are growing constantly and require good nutrition to build healthy bodies. An eating pattern that includes a variety of foods from across all the food groups will provide children
with the range of nutrients and fuel they need.

Dairy are one of the core food groups of the daily diet and are best known for calcium and the role it plays in building strong bones. Milk is also a good source of high-quality protein. The protein in milk breaks down to small particles called amino acids. Amino acids build body cells and muscles. Milk contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for growth and repair. This means that milk is a complete protein. The protein in milk helps to build strong muscles, which will make you strong and support your skeleton. It is critical that children receive sufficient daily protein and calcium to ensure that they grow properly and their bones achieve maximum strength.

3. Many other nutrients which help to keep you healthy

Dairy provides many nutrients. We can therefore say that dairy is rich in nutrients that are important for health.

Milk, amasi, yoghurt and cheese are recognised as being the main food source for calcium (a mineral). They also supply good-quality protein, vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and the mineral potassium. These foods are also a source of vitamin A, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium.

Nutrients are the small particles in food that help your body function well. Different nutrients have different roles. Some:

  • give you energy
    Your body uses energy all the time! Energy is fuel for your body – almost like the petrol in a car.
  • build the body and make you strong
    Your body is made up of millions of cells, which function the same way as bricks in a house. Each different system in your body needs different cells (bricks). The cells in the different systems need different nutrients. Muscles need nutrients called proteins, while strong bones and teeth need minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • protect you against disease
    Your body has ‘soldiers’ that protect it and help to keep you healthy. These ‘soldiers’ are called vitamins. There are many different vitamins, each with a specific function. Dairy products provide you with nutrients that perform all three these tasks and there are 9 that are specifically important.

These nutrients are:

  • calcium, which is important for strong bones and teeth
  • protein, which builds strong muscles and helps you grow
  • magnesium, which helps provide energy and prevents muscle cramps
  • potassium, which is good for your heart and muscles
  • phosphorus, which is good for growth and repair of your body
  • zinc, which is good for your skin and helps you to fight against illness
  • vitamin A, which is important for good eyesight and to fight sickness
  • vitamin B12, which is good for the brain and a good memory
  • vitamin B2, which helps to provide energy to the body.

Why dairy is good for you

  1. You need dairy for strong bones.
  2. Dairy gives you fuel to keep you going and enables you to work and play or do sport.
  3. Dairy is important to help you maintain a healthy body.