As children are the future citizens of the world their health should be of great concern. And what could be a more fitting way to promote good health among children than providing them with free milk in schools. This is a health program by governments of countries the world over including the UK, the Philippines, British Columbia, Canada, and Thailand. Despite its benefits and noble nature, there are different political issues of some sort surrounding this program – corruption, milk quality, milk suppliers, budget and allocation, and many others to name a few. However, as hundreds of thousands of children have availed and have improved health condition every year, this should be given priority and attention.
Milk is very nutritious. Many believe in its role in building strong bones, which is not far from the truth. The body uses several nutrients, not just one, in doing whatever metabolism it needs to accomplish for normal body functions. And milk provides the necessary minerals needed in building and repairing bones. It is a very good source of protein, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium, which all contribute to having healthy bones. It also is a great source of water, which is rich in vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin B complex.
In Thailand, School Milk Program (SMP) was implemented and got full support from central government in 1992. Since then school children are given free milk for 230 days annually. Since there are only 180-200 school days in a year, each child gets 1 box of milk to be brought home during the holidays. Foreign children who are born in Thailand and are studying here, get to enjoy this as well. Hoping that this continues, and that Thai government will always look after the good of the future of the nation, the children.
So mainly this program aims to promote healthy growth in children. However, it is part of the program to outsource milk from local farmers, and so as a consequence this has tremendously boosts the income of local farmers.
My kids love this. In fact they prefer this over formula milk. They’re lucky. I don’t remember getting any free milk during my primary school days in the Philippines. Have you?
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