National Milk Day is January 11, 2023, so we’re celebrating the many benefits of milk and how it, and dairy overall, helps keep our bodies strong.

Protein and Vitamins

While there are different types of milk (whole, 2%, skim, etc.), generally, milk provides us with:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamins A, D, and B12
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • And more

Protein is key to keeping us energized and promotes the growth of muscle mass. It can also help us feel full longer. Calcium is needed for building and maintaining strong bones. Vitamin A helps our vision and keeps our skin healthy. Like calcium, vitamin D is also important for your bones. It also supports immune health and muscle function. Vitamin B12 is needed in our bodies to form red blood cells and produce DNA. Potassium helps our bodies maintain fluid levels in our cells. It is critical and needed by all of our body tissues. Phosphorus is another key mineral we need for bone health. It also assists with energy production, muscle movement, and filtering waste.

How Much Milk Should I Drink?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) includes milk in the Dairy Food Group, along with yogurt, cheese, lactose-free milk, and fortified soy milk and yogurt. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products are encouraged.

According to the USDA, toddlers are recommended to have 1 2/3 to 2 cups of dairy a day, young children from 2 to 2 1/2 cups per day, and those older than 8 should have 3 cups per day.

Daily Recommendation chart for dairy intake

Milk at Lunch

At DUSD Food Services, we know the importance of the benefits milk provides. Next time you grab lunch, we hope you’ll get some milk to go along with it!


We know that some students may have a lactose allergy. For those who are sensitive to dairy or cannot eat it, please visit for some suggestions on how to ensure you’re still getting the nutrients found in milk and other dairy products.