School Milk

With nine essential nutrients, milk is one of the most nutrient-rich beverages children can choose. So it makes sense to make it as appealing as possible — and kids like it best when it's in served ice-cold, in a variety of flavors, and in single-serve, plastic bottles. We call this the "New Look of School MIlk (NLSM)!"

The NLSM helps make nutrient-rich milk "cool to drink,” and whether it is offered on the meal line, in vending machines or a la carte, it has been shown to increase milk sales and consumption. In fact, many schools have even increased their meal program participation when milk is in plastic, kid-friendly bottles.  Click here to calculate how the NLSM can work for your school or district.

Promotes wellness…and more

Because kids choose more milk more often when it’s offered in packaging they like, the NLSM complements Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program from the National Dairy Council and the NFL that encourages the availability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods along with 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Plus, single-serve, plastic milk bottles are recyclable and can reduce trash volume by 10 percent or more  - that’s another great reason to retire the milk carton!

How to get started

The American Dairy Association Mideast (ADA Mideast) offers $1,000 grants to schools in Ohio and West Virginia that retire the milk carton and serve milk in 8-oz plastic bottles with school meals.  Grants must be used for new milk merchandising and refrigeration equipment for use on the school meal line. Click here for grant terms.

To apply for a NLSM grant, click here.  Once your grant application has been approved, you may order milk merchandising and refrigeration equipment from our guide.  Please note you will need to submit supporting documentation including a proof of purchase receipt for the equipment you choose and a proof of purchase for milk in 8-oz plastic bottles to the ADA Mideast in order to receive funding. For more information about this grant process, please contact us.

You can also work with your Fuel Up to Play 60 team and use this Healthy Eating Play to help advocate for serving milk in plastic bottles at the right temperature – and to build awareness about the benefits of recycling those plastic bottles!