We are encouraged have a healthy diet of dairy products since early childhood. The combination of valuable vitamins and nutrients in dairy, specifically Calcium and Vitamin D, is a necessary daily requirement, helping to promote strong, healthy growth of skin, bones, hair and teeth, and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, some types of cancer, and high blood pressure, among other afflictions.
We have likely all seen at least one, if not many, “Got Milk?” advertisements splashed across billboards, magazines, and television. To a lesser extent, similar advertising has promoted cheese.
While the dairy campaign is a continual year-round undertaking, it gains significant focus in the month of June, for June is National Dairy Month, promoted by the National Dairy Council. The focus of National Dairy Month is to raise awareness of the healthful properties of dairy products, and alert consumers of the diseases and risks associated with the lack of proper vitamins and nutrients that are commonly found in dairy products.
Aside from Calcium and Vitamin D, dairy products are also rich in Vitamin A and protein, and according to several recent studies, lowfat dairy products are said to help control body fat.
In the midwest, where much of the country’s dairy products are produced, June is a joyous time, redolent with festivals promoting the powers of dairy and the farmers and companies that help bring dairy products from the field to our store shelves. Activities abound at many events, increasing awareness of dairy with fun facts and important statistics. Many festivals include dairy recipe contests, helping to promote the consumption of dairy in deliciously exciting ways. Other counties celebrate with cow parades, dairy breakfast gatherings, and farm tours.
The most important message being conveyed by the National Dairy Council during National Dairy Month is to get at least three servings of dairy each day in order to maintain a healthy diet and receive a proper helping of the necessary vitamins and nutrients, especially calcium, found in dairy products. Its as easy as having a few glasses of milk and some cheese, or a cup of yogurt.
The 3-A-Day program encourages the consumption of milk, cheese, and yogurt for fit, healthy bodies and strong bones, warning that most Americans typically consume only half the daily required amount.
A number of medical associations and physicians also combine their efforts to help promote the 3-A-Day message during National Dairy Month, reminding you that although milk, cheese, and yogurt are traditionally the first products one thinks of when looking for dairy products, puddings, ice cream, pies, and even pizza, with its hefty serving of cheese, can help contribute to your daily intake.
National Dairy Month strongly strives to instill the 3-A-Day promotion into consumers all year-round. Dairy is an important requirement in life, especially for children, and just because the festivities may have ended once the month of July begins, the proper consumption of dairy products should be maintained for life.