WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday U.S. Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) and Joe Courtney (CT-02) introduced H.R. 2407, the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015.
“Milk is the number one source of nine essential nutrients in many young American’s diets and provides many significant health benefits,” said Thompson.
“The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015 seeks to reverse the decline of milk consumption in schools throughout Pennsylvania and across the country,” added Thompson.
“As our nation works to replace ‘empty calorie’ foods in our children’s school meals, one thing is clear—low-fat dairy is the opposite of ‘empty,’” said Courtney.
“It packs valuable nutrients including protein, potassium and calcium—a solid foundation for building a healthy menu in America’s schools,” Courtney added.
“With Congress set to reauthorize school nutrition programs this year, we applaud Congressman Thompson and Congressman Courtney for introducing this bill, and for recognizing the importance of milk to the health and well-being of our nation’s school children,” said Connie Tipton, president and chief executive officer of IDFA.
The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015 would:
- Preserve milk’s integral role in school meals by reaffirming the requirement that milk is offered with each meal, that varieties of milk is consistent with the DGA, and that substitute beverages be nutritionally equivalent to milk.
- Give schools the option of offering low-fat (1 percent) flavored milk, rather than only fat- free – but only if the milk contains no more than 150 calories per 8-ounce serving.
- Allow milk to be sold in the same age-appropriate container sizes as competing beverages.
- Establish a pilot program designed to increase milk consumption through expanded breakfast programs, a la carte sales, new outlets, etc., with a focus on improvements to packaging, refrigeration, flavors and merchandising.
- Encourage USDA to address the needs of lactose-intolerant students by offering extended shelf-stable lactose-free milk through the USDA Foods Program.
- Allow mothers in the WIC program to select reduced-fat milk (2 percent) for themselves or their children with a written request – the same standard as for substitute milk beverages. (Currently, USDA requires extensive evaluation and paperwork.)