Nutrition Guidance: Dairy Foods for Your Growing Family

New fact sheet highlights the importance of dairy foods across life stages 

Adequate nutrition is a critical part of the health and development of children, and establishing healthy eating patterns in the earliest stages of life can positively impact lifelong health. Consuming the daily recommended servings of dairy foods provides essential nutrients needed for optimal growth and development, many of which are typically under-consumed in the American diet.

Evidence continues to show that real dairy foods like milk, yogurt and cheese offer a unique package of nutrients that work together to provide multiple health benefits, including reduced risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The wide variety of milk and dairy foods available provides many options to meet personal needs, tastes and preferences.

Poor eating patterns, especially in early childhood, can continue as habits in adulthood, increasing the risk for becoming overweight and developing chronic conditions such as heart disease.

Dietary choices built on nutrient-dense foods, such as milk and dairy foods, provide a foundation for healthy eating patterns that support optimal health for all populations. Establishing these healthy patterns early in life is critical and increases the likelihood they will be carried throughout the lifespan.

Check out a new educational resource, “Dairy Foods for Your Growing Family,” reviewed by Matthew Wright, PA-C, RD, and developed in partnership with the California Milk Advisory Board. PAs are encouraged to use it as an educational tool to help patients and families understand the role dairy plays in daily diet and eating patterns across life stages, for family members of all ages.

The PA Foundation is proud to partner with the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food & Agriculture, representing California’s dairy farm families who are leading the world in sustainable farming practices and producing nutritious, quality milk for dairy products that consumers love. The CMAB’s vision is to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk. Information and resources are available online at, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.