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National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine Report Calls for More Dairy Foods at School

n 70 percent of the calcium consumed by Americans. The Dietary Guidelines recommend children ages 9 and older consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free and milk or milk products each day. And, children ages 2-8 can consume three child-size servings of milk to add up to a total of 2 cups, or equivalent, of dairy foods per day.

Together milk, cheese and yogurt contain nine essential nutrients, and dairy is the number-one source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium in the diets of American children and adolescents.

Adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence, by consuming the recommended three servings of dairy a day, may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life. And, research shows that children who consume recommended amounts of dairy foods have better overall nutrient intakes. However, half of children ages 4-8 and ninety percent of preteen girls and 70 percent of preteen boys (ages 9-13) do not meet current calcium recommendations. Nearly nine out of 10 teenage girls and almost seven out of 10 teenage boys (ages 14-18) don't meet calcium recommendations.

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