June Is National Dairy Month

June is recognized as National Dairy Month, which started in 1937 to promote drinking milk. It is a great way to start the summer with nutrient-rich dairy foods, including milk, yogurt, or cheese. It can also be either lactose-free milk and fortified soy milk or yogurt. Fat-free or low-fat dairy would be more beneficial to most people.

Have a nice cold glass of milk to celebrate National Dairy Month.

Have a nice cold glass of milk to celebrate National Dairy Month.
Credit: Pexels Pixabay (CC0)

Dairy products are a natural powerhouse of several essential nutrients that offer many health benefits, such as building and maintaining strong bones, helping better manage body weight, and reducing the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. The primary nutrients found in dairy are calcium, potassium, Vitamin D, and protein. Dairy needs vary by age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. The amount also varies for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Other products made from plants like almonds, rice, coconut, oat, and hemp “milk” may have calcium, but they are not a part of the Dairy Group because their nutrition content is unlike dairy milk and fortified soy milk.

Some people feel uncomfortable, such as bloating or gassy after drinking milk. This could be due to lactose intolerance or milk allergy. Lactose intolerant people do not make enough ‘lactase,’ the enzyme that breaks down lactose (primary sugar) in milk during digestion.

People who cannot or chose not to eat or drink dairy products can choose non-dairy sources of calcium. NOTE: The amount of calcium the body can absorb (or take in) from these non-dairy sources may vary.

  • Calcium-fortified juices
  • Calcium-fortified plant-based milk alternatives, such as rice milk or almond milk
  • Canned fish, such as sardines and salmon with bones
  • Tofu made with calcium sulfate
  • Tahini, such as sesame butter or paste
  • Some leafy greens, such as collard and turnip greens, spinach, kale, and bok choy

For more information, see the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025: Food Sources of Calcium.

Daily Amount of Dairy to Consume Daily to Meet Recommended Calcium Intake.

Daily Recommendation*
Toddlers 12 to 23 months 1⅔ to 2 cups
2-3 yrs 2 to 2½ cups
Children 4-8 yrs 2½ cups
9-13 yrs 3 cups
Girls 9-13 yrs 3 cups
14-18 yrs 3 cups
Boys 14-18 yrs 3 cups
19-30 yrs 3 cups
Women 31-59 yrs 3 cups
60+ yrs 3 cups
19-30 yrs 3 cups
Men 31-59 yrs 3 cups
60+ yrs 3 cups

The Amounts Required to Equal 1 Cup of Dairy

Amount That Counts as 1 Cup in the Dairy Group
Milk 1 cup milk
1 half-pint container milk
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk
1 half-pint container calcium-fortified soy milk
Yogurt 1 cup yogurt (dairy or fortified soy)
Cheese 1 ½ ounces hard cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Parmesan)
⅓ cup shredded cheese
1ounce processed cheese (American)
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 cups cottage cheese
2 ounces Queso fresco
2 slices Queso blanco

  1. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/dairy
  2. https://www.idfa.org/june-is-national-dairy-month
  3. National Dairy Council: Science Summary; Milk and Health.

Tips to observe ‘National Dairy Month’:

  1. Share facts about Dairy Foods and other resources with friends, families, and community members.
  2. Add your favorite dairy food to everyday meals.
  3. Have a nice cold glass of milk for a hot summer drink.
  4. Add extra cheese to your salad or sandwiches.
  5. Have a fun-filled ice cream sundae party with families and friends.
  6. Visit the nearest dairy farm to learn where milk comes from and how the process works.

Studies showed that milk is better than sports drinks after a workout. Sodium and potassium contents of milk help retain fluids and sweat less. Additionally, the protein content of milk helps body muscles to recover quickly.

Source: https://nationaltoday.com/national-dairy-month/

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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