Dr Hilary Jones GP, the well known health editor on Breakfast TV, has visited 2 schools in Doncaster this week in order to launch a new scheme that aims to encourage more children to drink milk at school.
During the visits to Balby Central Primary School and Bentley High Street Primary School, Dr Hilary participated in special assemblies as well as talking to the children, parents and teachers about the importance of drinking more milk at school and the educational and health benefits of doing so.
“Milk is a very important part of overall nutrition for children, providing them with a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, protein and other nutrients to keep them healthy,” explained Dr Hilary.
“It is packed with vitamin D, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and potassium and while children are drinking milk they’re less likely to consume less nutritious drinks such as fruit juice and fizzy drinks.”
Head teacher at Bentley High Street Primary School Janis James added: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Hilary and the Civic Mayor of Doncaster, Councillor Christine Mills, to the school yesterday to celebrate the introduction of the new scheme.
“Milk is one of the few drinks permitted at school by the Children’s Food Trust and drinking milk after an active playtime is one of the best ways of keeping the children hydrated and getting them ready to learn again.”
Since 15th April leading school milk supplier Cool Milk has been working in partnership with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and local dairies to supply free and subsidised school milk to children in pre-schools, nurseries and primary schools.
Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment at Doncaster Council, said: “This new partnership is great news for Doncaster schools and local milk producers – it means that schools will continue to get milk from local cows, supporting our local economy and ensuring kids stay strong and healthy.
“Cool Milk will help ensure the continued smooth running of this fantastic service which hopefully more and more children will benefit from.”
Cool Milk currently supplies over 24,000 education providers from Land’s End to John O’Groats with free school milk.
Managing Director John Sedgwick said: “Many parents don’t realise that their child is entitled to free or subsided milk at school, which means lots of youngsters are missing out on their entitlement.
“Our aim is to make it easier for nurseries, schools, parents and local authorities to benefit from the Government scheme by taking away the administrative and financial burden. Cool Milk is also keen to promote the health benefits and social opportunities that school and nursery milk has to offer, which is why we invited Cool Milk’s Medical Advisor Dr Hilary along.”
During his visit to Balby Central Primary School as well as talking to pupils and staff, Dr Hilary also met some of the parents. Head teacher Pete McGuigan said: “We are keen to support the provision of free and subsidised milk at school as we want the children in our care to have the best possible start in life.
“The pupils, staff and parents all enjoyed meeting Dr Hilary and we hope this will encourage even more parents to sign up to the scheme.”