Farmers and a Tasmanian nutritionist have welcomed a call to bring back the free milk program to primary schools.
It comes after a campaign launched by Victorian farmers called for the return of the school milk program in Victorian public primary schools.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Paul Mumford told Sunrisea government-funded milk program in primary schools could help farmers and boost the health of Australian school kids, with, just 10 per cent of nine to 18-year-olds meeting the recommended daily dairy requirements.
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The idea drew support from North-West private practice nutritionist Dr Diane Fletcher-Way who said it could boost the calcium intake of children.
"It's a fabulous idea because we need to be concerned about kids' calcium levels and we also need to ensure kids are getting enough of the vitamin D the body needs to absorb calcium," Dr Fletcher-Way said.
She said in winter perhaps it was better for kids not to wear hats outside as Menzies Centre research showed people in Hobart had to sit outside for 37 minutes in winter to get enough vitamin D.
Dr Fletcher-Way said consideration would also need to be given to kids with serious milk allergies but with careful supervision those children could be given another drink or opt out of the free milk program.
She said some of the popular alternative "milk" products which were not milk contained no calcium at all or very little calcium and some consumers did not realise this was the case.
Organic Milk Group owner Gary Watson, of Lileah, also welcomed the proposal.
"I remember when we had milk at school it could have been done a bit better because it sat out in the sun for a few hours but these days with all the fridges at schools it can be done well," he said.
In 2016, when ex-South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon called for free school milk the Dietitians Association of Australia said a school milk program would be a positive step.
Free school milk was axed in the 1980s.