It was a win for dairy late Wednesday afternoon when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023. With bipartisan support and a vote of 330 to 99, the bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023, led by Republican Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson and Democratic Representative Kim Schrier, would allow whole and reduced-fat flavored and nonflavored milk to be offered in schools again. Whole and 2% milk were removed from school menus in 2012 under the Obama administration to keep overall fat levels in school meals lower.

Unfortunately, limiting milk offerings at schools has led to lower consumption by students and more wasted milk tossed into trash cans. Even worse, it means more children are missing out on the 13 essential nutrients milk provides, which are needed for growth, development, immune function, and overall wellness. It is estimated that between 68% and 94% of school aged children fail to meet the recommended level of dairy intake.

We know that more people prefer fuller fat milks over nonfat varieties. Whole milk and 2% milk make up 75% of all retail and institutional sales of milk. If those are the varieties of milk people are choosing to put in their refrigerator, it makes sense those same products would be preferred by children.

Several national dairy organizations released statements praising the decision made by the House. They also encouraged the Senate to act quickly on this bill.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2023
December 14, 2023
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