|Milk Matters Online Lesson Resources
Available for Teachers
New online resources stressing the importance of calcium for bone
health are now available for middle and high school teachers. The
resources are available through the Milk Matters calcium education
campaign, sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.
The new resources, available at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/milk/teachers feature
fun, hands-on classroom lessons created to teach young people about
the importance of calcium for bone health.
The online lessons for teachers are part of the NICHD's Milk
Matters calcium education campaign, which aims to increase
awareness about the importance of calcium in children’s and adolescents'
diets. The campaign encourages 11-to-15-year-olds in particular
to consume sufficient calcium because these are the years of
rapid bone growth.
"Teachers play an important role in raising awareness about
healthy behaviors," said NICHD Director Duane Alexander, M.D. "The Milk
Matters' Web resources offer teachers user-friendly tools
that focus on the importance of calcium for bone health among tweens
and teens, age groups that often don't get enough calcium to meet
Milk Matters' online lesson resources are designed to
help students understand the importance of making smart food choices
through calcium lessons, fact sheets, take-home assignments, and
classroom discussion. In The Great Calcium Challenge,
students learn to read nutrition labels and calculate their calcium
intake. The Calcium Collector includes a game in which
students choose a combination of foods that will provide 1,300
milligrams of calcium—the daily recommended intake. Both
lessons also reinforce students' math skills.
The Smart Snack Cookbook gives students an opportunity
to create a recipe book of simple, healthy snacks, such as fruit
smoothies. The lesson resources also include a lactose intolerance
discussion guide to help teachers discuss the symptoms of lactose
intolerance (stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and gas) and ways
for reducing them. All of the materials are consistent with National
Health Education Standards. These Standards were developed by the
American Association for Health Education, the American Public
Health Association, the American School Health Association, and
the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education, and
Recreation to establish, promote, and support health–enhancing
behaviors for students in all grade levels.
In addition to teacher materials, the Milk Matters Web
site offers a variety of free materials for parents and health
care providers that emphasize the importance of calcium in the
diets of children and teens, including a booklet, poster, fact
sheets, a coloring book, and sticker. Many of these materials are
available in English and Spanish.
The Milk Matters campaign stresses low-fat or fat-free
milk as an excellent source of calcium because:
- milk has high calcium content in a form the body can easily
- milk contains other nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin
A, vitamin K, riboflavin, B12, potassium, magnesium, and protein,
that are essential to healthy bone and tooth development
- milk is widely available and is already a part of many people's
To download the classroom activities and other Milk Matters materials,
or for more information on the Milk Matters campaign,
visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov/milk or
contact the NICHD Information Resource Center at 1-800-370-2943; e-mail
The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth;
maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population
issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit
the Institute's Web site at http://www.nichd.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.