St. Paul, Minn. – Milk would be the default drink for children’s meals in Minnesota if legislation introduced today becomes law. The bill, SF 2797, would ensure that children’s meals served in fast food restaurants are one of the default drink options available for kids.
“Not only is milk the state beverage, but the dairy industry is a major component of our state’s economy,” said Chief Author of the bill Senator Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove). “This bill would help promote the importance of milk in a child’s diet and support this important industry.”
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) support making milk a default beverage on children’s menus to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks.
“We as dairy farmers are proud of the good tasting, nutrition packed milk we provide consumers,” said Janet Bremer, a dairy farm owner. “Allowing milk to be a default beverage for children’s meals is a powerful way to show our concern in the battle against childhood obesity and diabetes.”
Minnesota ranks 8th in the country in total milk production, producing approximately 9.5 billion pounds of milk per year.
“Dairy farmers have long asked public and private institutions to keep milk as the first choice for children,” added Lucas Sjostrom, Executive Director of Minnesota Milk. “We share the goal with all Minnesotans to raise healthy kids, while helping increase demand for locally produced milk.”
While the bill makes milk the default beverage, it does allow alternative options for children’s meal drinks.
About Senator Karla Bigham
Karla Bigham is a state senator who represents Cottage Grove, Hastings, South St. Paul, St. Paul Park, Newport, Afton and neighboring townships. She is a member of the following committees: Environment and Natural Resources Finance; Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy; and Human Services Reform Finance and Policy.