Plant-based diets are gaining traction among consumers, institutions and even government-recommended dietary guidelines. Although the health benefits of consuming more vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins are well-founded, “plant-based” is sometimes misconstrued to mean the elimination of animal-derived foods such as dairy milk. This view, plus the rise in plant-based products that imitate dairy milk but lack its unique combination of nutrients, creates an urgent need for the dairy community to ensure dairy milk remains an essential part of healthy eating patterns in the future.
Dairy Council of California continues to educate that all beverage choices matter and contribute to total calorie intake and hydration. Focusing on nutrient-dense beverages such as dairy milk can help children and families build healthy eating patterns. Dairy milk offers a unique package of nutrients — calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein and much more — that work together to provide multiple health benefits, including optimal growth and development in children and reduced risk of chronic diseases.