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What Do I Do With Milk?

Drinking milk may seem like the obvious use for milk, but you probably have some participants who aren’t in the habit of drinking milk. Luckily milk has many delicious uses besides just being a beverage, so we've collected tips, ideas, and recipes to help you help participants find ways to use milk in snacks and meals. Read on for more information or jump right to the recipes

Counseling Corner 

Milk is full of many nutrients including protein, vitamins A and D, potassium, and is of course famous for being a source of calcium! Visit the Eye on Nutrition series to learn more about these and other nutrients and the WIC Meals of the Month series to find nutrient-specific recipes.   

There are a variety of reasons participants may need substitutions for cow's milk, including dairy allergies, cultural practices, vegan diets, and more. Soy-based beverages, which may be authorized by State WIC programs, provide similar nutrients in place of cow or goat's milk for such participants. 

Types of Milk 

Although there are many types of milk available in the marketplace, WIC food packages include specific categories of milk which provide key nutrients important for participants. 

Whole Milk: This is the standard milk in food packages for 1-year-olds (12-23 months) and is higher in fat and calories than other milk options.  

Low-fat (1%) or Nonfat Milk: These are the standard milk options for children >24 months of age and women. Nonfat milk may also be called skim milk. Participants may need a friendly reminder that although there is a fat and calorie difference in these kinds of milks, the vitamin and mineral amounts don’t differ much! 

Do parents need help or ideas to transition to low-fat or 1% milk? Visit Helping WIC Participants Make the Switch to Low-Fat (1%) and Fat-Free Milk for nutrition education talking points and ideas for making the switch. 

Evaporated Milk: This milk is shelf stable but must be refrigerated once opened. Evaporated milk can be used as a milk substitute for participants if needed. 

Dry Milk: Dry milk has had all the liquid removed and is in powdered form. This type of milk is shelf stable so may be a good alternative if refrigerator access is limited. 

Soy-based Beverage: Sometimes referred to as soy milk, soy-based beverage may be substituted based on an individual nutritional assessment and consultation with the participant's health care provider, if necessary, as established by State agency policy.  

Lactose-free Milk*: This milk may be an option for participants who are lactose intolerant. 

Goat’s Milk*: A less common milk option is goat’s milk, which can be used for drinking, cooking, and baking, just like cow’s milk. Popular in many parts of the world, goat’s milk may be an important cultural food for some participants. 

* Not all foods may be available in every State, U.S. Territory, or Indian Tribal Organization due to the flexibility they have in selecting foods for their WIC food packages. 

Tips & Ideas to Share 

There are many ways to enjoy milk besides as a beverage. Other ideas include blending in milk-based drinks, splashing on oatmeal, serving with WIC authorized cereal, or using in a creamy recipe!  

Add milk to help complement or boost the nutrients in each meal.  

  • Add milk to mashed potatoes for a creamy texture. 

  • Use milk instead of water or juice in smoothies. 

  • Make overnight oats or chia seed pudding with milk. 

  • Thin-out creamy sauces with a bit of milk. 

  • Make a quiche or frittata by adding milk to the egg mixture. 

  • Add a splash of milk to peanut butter to make a dip for fruit. 

  • Cook a creamy soup by using milk instead of broth. Just be sure to simmer slowly and stir often since milk can burn and stick to the pan if left unattended! 

Safe storage of conventional milk is very important and requires refrigeration. Participants can even consider freezing milk for up to 3 months for later usage. Visit the FoodKeeper App for more information about safe milk and food storage. 


Apple Spice Baked Oatmeal (available in Spanish) 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (available in Spanish) 

Butternut Squash Soup 

Golden Milk 

Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli (available in Spanish) 

Overnight Oatmeal with Berries (available in Spanish) 

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie 

Salmon and Corn Chowder 

Unicorn Smoothie 

Veggie Quiche Muffins (available in Spanish) 

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