Dairy is an important food group because of the role that calcium and vitamin D play in building bones and strong teeth. Although the daily minimum calcium requirements vary by age, it is important throughout all of life's stages. Sit down with a tall glass of milk (or a yummy fruit latte) and learn more about the importance of dairy at these sites.
"How many servings of Milk Group foods do you think you need every day? Three or more." Explore the world of nutrition with the National Dairy Council. Play games, learn about the food guide pyramid, and get recipes for healthy snacks like a Carrot Cake Smoothie. Games include Arianna's Food Force One ("Go on a global adventure to find ingredients for combination foods"), Quintricious (match foods from five food groups as they fall arcade-style), and Nutrition Mixer (use your knowledge of serving quantities to "mix" a song for a rock band.)
With a playful, fanciful design, the California Milk Processor Board explains the myriad health benefits of milk. Click on the treadmill-running horse for a multimedia game designed to teach how milk rebuilds muscle. Or visit the X-Ray 9000 to play Help Mr. Osseous Rescue Cartoons and learn how milk fights osteoporosis. The site also includes dairy recipes, a news archive, links to related resources, and a Spanish sister site: Toma Leche.
"Welcome to MooMilk.com, a fun and educational website about cows and milk with facts, contests, games and recipes." Published by the Circle H Dairy of Turlock, California, MooMilk combines interesting, educational videos (about topics such as Cattle Rustlers) with a bit of fun and games. For classroom usage, look through the Teacher's Resources sections. Kids should head directly to the Fun Menu for the Milk the Cow game, and the MooMilk Quiz (to test your "cowledge".) Do you know how many pounds of milk a cow produces in a month? You'll find the answer at MooMilk.
"Everyone needs calcium. Even you!" My favorite click here at the Oregon Dairy Council is the multimedia Calcium Quick Check: Are You Getting Enough? Based on your age, this interactive calculator will tell you how many milligrams of calcium you should be getting every day. Then, by choosing how many servings you usually eat from a list of calcium-rich foods, it shows you whether or not you are getting enough. This page also includes off-site links to lesson plans for teachers, and calcium games for kids.
These online games for kids and teens are produced by the Dairy Council of California. They also provide printable K-12 materials for teachers at a small cost (but free if you are in California!) The online materials include a MyPyramid Match Game ("Discover how many food servings and physical activity you need every day."), a virtual pizza maker, an interactive dairy farm, and a calcium calculator.