Creating Lifelong Dairy Consumers - Dairy MAX school wellness consultants train school nutrition professionals to share their story

Nov 18, 2015
group of kids in fuel up to play 60 shirts toasting with milk

School nutrition professionals have an important story to tell – one that can impact millions of children every day. That’s why Dairy MAX’s school marketing team focused on training professionals to market school nutrition programs through story telling. Mary Ann McCann, New Mexico School Marketing Consultant, says over 150 attendees were reached at the annual School Nutrition Association (SNA) conference held this summer.

“Our training reached school nutrition directors, assistant directors, chefs and staff. These are the professionals with decision-making power who are nourishing children every single day,” McCann says. “In addition to students, they reach parents, teachers, school staff and their communities as a whole.”

School nutrition professionals are experts in providing nutrient-rich foods, including dairy. SNA training focused on healthy menus, including kid-tested recipes, national dietary guidelines and managing lactose intolerance.  The grant and expertise program, Dairy Dollars for Schools, was also highlighted.

“School nutrition professionals bring considerable value to schools,” McCann says. “For some students, breakfast and lunch at school are their only meals of the day. It’s important that nutrient-dense foods, like low-fat dairy, are part of their daily intake so they are nourished and ready to learn.”

School marketing efforts remain a top priority for Dairy MAX. These include newsletters, marketing materials, conferences and trainings and a targeted focus on key districts to build long term dairy consumption. For example, in New Mexico, the School Marketing team targets growth opportunities for schools by categorizing a district’s impact on dairy sales.  The three categories, Tier 1, 2 and 3 with Tier 1 having the most potential for growth, enable a focused approach on breakfast expansion. Such efforts include Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go Breakfast or Breakfast after the Bell. Between the broad marketing efforts and targeted approaches, the school marketing program as a whole reaches the greatest opportunity for milk consumption. 

“We train school nutrition professionals to educate students about the benefits of dairy and offer kid-approved options and recipes,” McCann says. “By learning and experiencing the delicious benefits dairy offers, students have a stronger chance of becoming lifelong dairy consumers.”