Healthy Milk Choices appy Mealtimes

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Healthy Milk


appy Mealtimes

Format: This is a participant-centered lesson plan, structured around pair and group discussions. You may want to provide activities that children can do (such as coloring sheets or toys) while adults are engaged in the lesson.


Adult participants and parents of child participants

WIC facilitator


Beginning with EBT benefits issued October 1, 2014, women and children ages 2-5 years in all WIC agencies will be able to buy ONLY 1% low-fat milk and nonfat milk with WIC EBT. These milks are healthier, but many WIC families do not currently drink them. WIC families need to know about the upcoming milk change, and they may want to learn the health benefits of low-fat milk, ways to use it, and tips for transitioning to a different milk.


About 20 minutes


Chairs set up around a table or in a circle.

Adapted with permission from California WIC Program


By the end of this session, participants will have:

  • Shared about the milk their families currently drink

  • Tasted 1% low-fat milk (optional)

  • Identified which milks they can buy with their WIC benefits

  • Observed the differences among various types of milk

  • Discussed ways to switch from higher fat milks to low-fat or nonfat milk



  1. Welcome and Introduction

2 minutes

  1. Warm Up: What Do You Drink?

Taste Test (optional)

5 minutes

  1. Which Milks Are the Healthiest?

10 minutes

  1. Take Home Activity/ Closing

3 minutes



  • Poster: “Healthy Milk Choices”

  • Handout: “Healthy Milk Choices”

  • For optional taste testing:

      • 1% low-fat milk

Getting Ready

  1. Set up PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Write an overview of the lesson on flip chart paper or dry erase board.

  1. Post “Healthy Milk Choices” poster.

  1. For taste testing, prepare samples: pour milk into cups on tray; keep in refrigerator until ready to distribute to participants.






2 minutes

Good morning/afternoon, my name is ________. Today we will be talking about an upcoming change in your milk choices with WIC.”

We’ll start by getting to know each other, then we’ll talk about what will be changing and about different types of milk, and then we’ll look at some tips for trying a new type of milk. The class will last about 20 minutes.”

What questions do you have before we begin?” Pause about 5 seconds.


Warm Up: What Do You Drink?

5 minutes

Think for a moment about what type of milk you and your family drink.” Pause about 5 seconds.

I invite you to turn to your neighbor, introduce yourself and your children, and then share what type of milk your family drinks and why you drink that type of milk.” Pause. Allow about a minute for participants to discuss. Then ask for volunteers to share. Affirm responses, and thank participants for sharing.
Taste Test (or skip to activity 3):

Bring out the samples of milk from refrigerator. Do not let participants know what kind of milk is in the sample.

I have some samples of milk that I will invite you to try. Once everyone has tried their sample, I will ask what type of milk you think you tasted.”

Pass out the samples. Once everyone has tried the milk, ask:

What type of milk do you think you tasted?” Wait for participants to share.
All the samples were 1% low-fat milk. Many people cannot tell the difference between 1% low-fat milk and 2% reduced fat milk.”
Invite participants to share their thoughts:
What did you notice about the taste?” Pause about 5 seconds.
What, if anything, surprised you?” Pause about 5 seconds.

Activities (continued)



Milks Are the Healthiest?

10 minutes

We have just talked about the types of milk we drink (and tasted 1% low-fat milk, if optional activity included). Now let’s talk about a change in your milk choices using WIC EBT. Starting with benefits issued on October 1st, women and children ages 2 to 5 in all WIC agencies will be able to buy ONLY 1% low-fat milk or nonfat milk with WIC benefits. We’ll explain why this is happening by looking at the different types of milk.”

Before we start, what have you heard about low-fat milk?” Wait for participants to share.
Have you heard that low-fat milk is just whole milk with water added?” (Ask participants for show of hands.) “Some people think this. We are going to look at some information today that will show us that this is NOT true.”
Let’s take a few minutes to look at this chart about nutrition in an 8-ounce glass of milk. You can see the 4 different types of milk across the top. Down the left side are fat, protein, calcium, and vitamin D.”
So first, let’s look at how much fat the different types of milk have. What do you notice?”
Here’s another way to look at that. In an 8-ounce glass of whole milk you’d be drinking about 2 teaspoons of butter, with 2% milk a little over a teaspoon, with 1% low-fat milk about half a teaspoon, and with nonfat milk just about zero butter. So, out of these 4 types of milk, you can see that 1% low-fat and nonfat milk are the healthiest because they are lowest in fat.”
Now let’s look at the protein. All 4 kinds of milk have about the same amount of protein.”
Taking a look at the calcium, you can see that the amounts are about the same. 1% low-fat milk even has a little more calcium than the others, but they are similar.”
Last, let’s look at vitamin D. What do you notice?”
So to summarize, all 4 types of milk have just about the same amount of vitamin D, calcium and protein. 1% low-fat milk and nonfat milk are the lowest in fat.”

Activities (continued)



Milks Are the Healthiest?

What surprised you about how the nutrition compares between the 4 types of milk?” Pause about 5 seconds. “What questions do you have?” Pause about 5 seconds.

Scientists, doctors and nutritionists say that we should drink 1% low-fat and nonfat milk, instead of higher fat milk. How many of you have kids in HeadStart or eating lunch at school?” Pause about 5 seconds. “These programs now provide only 1% low-fat or nonfat milk.”


Take Home Activity/


3 minutes

Now think about the milk you currently drink at home. For those of you who already drink 1% low-fat or nonfat milk or have switched recently, what tips do you have for switching to a lower fat milk?”

(Ask participants to share an experience or success story.) “Thank you for sharing.”

Distribute “Healthy Milk Choices” handout. “Let’s take a look at this handout. It has tips and recipes for using 1% low-fat and nonfat milk.” Pause to let participants look at handout.

I invite you to turn to your neighbor and share one thing you will try or would like to remember from our conversation today.”
Pause to allow time for discussion, and then ask for volunteers to share. “Thank you for sharing.”
Today we talked about the change in your milk choices with WIC benefits. We looked at different types of milk and talked about which milks are the healthiest, and some tips for switching to a lower fat milk. I would like to thank you for coming to WIC today and sharing in our discussion.”

Lesson Plan – 2014 Page

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