While drinking a glass of milk might seem like the most natural thing to do, did you know that this small action supports the livelihoods of one-billion people worldwide?
Milk is enjoyed in all kinds of ways by various people who live all over the world! Some people choose to drink it with a meal while others choose to warm it up for a bedtime sleep aid. Any way you like it, 24 hours are dedicated to celebrating this venerable beverage on National Milk Day!
History of National Milk Day
It is generally thought that National Milk Day was created to celebrate the first time milk was delivered in glass bottles, beginning in the US. Some people think it dates back to a time around the year 1915. Prior to this, conditions for milk delivery were fairly unsanitary, but the new bottles enabled safe and clean storage.
However, it didn’t take long until National Milk Day grew to be a day dedicated to all aspects of milk. Whether it is celebrating the health benefits of drinking this nutritious liquid, to the farming industry that produces it, the day can be used to honor and enjoy the wonders of milk.
Now, milk products are stored and brought into homes in many more ways than only in those glass bottles. No matter how the milk arrives, whether in cardboard cartons or plastic jugs from the grocery store, or still delivered the old-fashioned way in glass bottles on the porch by the milkman, it’s a delicious and nutritious treat for the family.
How to celebrate National Milk Day
While consumption of milk need not be limited only to National Milk Day, it is a great day to take a moment to consider this beverage of choice that delights and nourishes so many people around the world!
- Drink a Glass of Milk Keep it simple and start out with a tall, cool glass. For an even better treat, tear open a package of cookies and share with a friend!
Encourage School Activities Many schoolchildren are encouraged to take part in National Milk Day so that they start the good habit of drinking milk from a young age. They can also learn about the various ways milk can be used to create different foods like cheese or yoghurt.
- Dairy Farm Trips to a local dairy are a good place to gain a better understanding about the entire journey of milk, from the dairy cows or goats, to the processing facilities, to the grocery store that sells it. Many local dairy farms are generous with their time and encourage educational visits on this day.
- National Milk Day Party Some people will look for any reason to throw a party, so celebrating National Milk Day is as good as any! Invite people over and ask them to bring their favorite milk-based party food. Cheese plates, cream soups and ice cream are just the beginning!
- Dress Up for National Milk Day If children are involved in the fun, they may enjoy dressing up for the festivities. They can don a pre-made cow costume, or create their own. Pin cut out black “spots” onto a white t-shirt to create the look of a cow suit. (Hint: a rubber glove blown up like a balloon makes the perfect set of udders when attached to the front of a shirt!)
- Make Homemade Cheese or Butter For a National Milk Day activity, cheese-making is a hobby that can be great fun. Churning butter is another pursuit that can be a learning experience with a milk-based theme.
- Enjoy Homemade Ice Cream Just because National Milk Day may not boast hot weather doesn’t mean that ice cream-making isn’t an appropriate project! It’s easier with an electric ice cream machine but can be done manually as well. Note: lots of ice is required!
Milk products to include in National Milk Day festivities
Celebrating National Milk Day doesn’t have to stop with simply filling a glass full of white liquid and drinking it down! In fact, milk is an important ingredient in a whole host of other dairy products that can make the celebration of National Milk Day into something interesting and extraordinary.
- Cheese Made from milk that is heated, cheese consists of adding cultures and enzymes, then allowing the mixture to ferment to yield a tasty snack. Pungent or tangy, hard or soft, white or blue, cheese is part of almost every culture on earth.
- Ice Cream Mentioned above, ice cream is made from milk (or its heavier friend, cream) that is churned while cold to produce a yummy treat. It’s an especially favorite treat for children in the summertime.
- Butter A tasty option to spread on toast or use in baking, butter is a staple in almost every kitchen.
- Cream Add some to coffee in the morning or whip it up to create a sweet topping for desserts.
- Milk Shakes This delicious treat combines the best of two milk products: milk and ice cream. Blend it up in a blender, add some flavored syrup and tuck in a wide straw to make an easy-peasy glass of yummy goodness. (Of course, adding in fruit or candies increases the delicious taste options!)
Many people forget that milk doesn’t only come from cows! Goats also offer a significant source of milk, especially for making cheese as well as some body products.
Also, some people tend to avoid milk due to dairy issues. Sometimes milk allergies or lactose intolerance can cause troubles when drinking milk. But those things don’t have to rain on the milk parade!
Just because a person avoids eating dairy doesn’t mean they have to be left out of the festivities of National Milk Day.
Even though cow’s milk is still the most common form of milk (probably about 85% of milk worldwide is sourced from cows), many alternative, non-dairy options of milk are available today, including:
- Almond Milk – a highly preferred milk substitute made from this tree nut
- Oat Milk – made from rolled oats blended with water (you can even make your own at home)
- Coconut Milk – made from the juice that is extracted from inside the soft coconut center
- Soy Milk – made from soybeans that are ground, boiled and strained
- Rice Milk – like soy milk, this is made when the rice grains are ground, boiled and strained
Many of these alternative options can make celebrating National Milk Day fun even for those who struggle to eat dairy for any reason. They can be consumed alone, added to coffee, or used in various recipes just like regular milk.
National Milk Day is a great excuse to do what many people love to do anyway–drink a tall, cool glass of milk. Whether drinking it alone, with a meal, or pairing it with some cookies, a healthy glass of milk will do the body a world of good!
And, of course, if drinking milk results in a milk moustache? Well, then National Milk Day will obviously just be that much better for it!