Milking it for all it's worth

Five-year-old Farid Abea grew a white moustache Saturday thanks to the Got Milk? ad campaign.

Farid and plenty of other children received free milkshakes, created milky moustaches and posed for photos while learning about the nutritional value of milk during the event at the Americana at Brand.

Event sponsors emphasized their message that milk is rich in nutrients, and that many Americans, from growing children to women over 40, would benefit from adding more dairy to their diet. Most teens and many others are lacking in calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health.

"We want to get rid of the soft drinks and fruit drinks taking over our dinner tables and make sure people get the nutrition they need," said Got Milk? representative April Rueber.

The visit to Glendale is part of a 75-city tour for the popular marketing campaign launched more than a decade ago by the Milk Processor Education Program.

Registered nutritionist Monica Montes of Pasadena worked a booth Saturday, discussing a healthy diet with children and answering questions from parents about including milk in their meals.

A few steps away, children slurped their shakes, grew their moustaches, posed for photos and tossed milky white rubber footballs at a target. Alta Dena Dairy and Rock View Family Farms, both based in the region, provided free samples of their products.

The tour returns to Glendale from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday with an appearance by Disney character Handy Manny.

Logan and Gavin Ross, 6 and 3, respectively, were already on board with the message before they arrived. Both said milk is among their favorite drinks.

Farid's mom, Blanca Vigil of Cypress Park, said her son looked good with a moustache.

Izabella Vosper, 23 months, of Glendale, walked over from the kiddie rides at the nearby Gigi's Farmer's Market to see what was going on. Asked what the highlight of the event was, her father, Will Vosper of Glendale, nodded toward the milkshake Izabella cupped in both hands. "Probably this," he said.

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