Local kids rose to the challenge to join The Big Slurp when 170,000 school children were asked to guzzle milk in unison.

They were invited to take part by Fonterra Milk for Schools with the aim of sipping their milk packs at the same time to celebrate World School Milk Day.

Fonterra Milk for Schools provided educational activity packs to schools taking part to help children understand where milk comes from and the part it plays in good nutrition.

The packs included cow masks and Tawhero students decorated theirs with individual colours and designs.

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Fonterra In-schools programme manager Louise Aitken said Kiwi kids who take part were joining 65 million other children from around the globe drinking milk provided by milk in schools programmes.

"World School Milk Day raises awareness about the importance of school milk programmes and the benefits of dairy nutrition on the health and wellbeing of our kids."

New Zealand children were the first in the world to celebrate World School Milk Day and joined through the day by more than 40 countries where milk in school programmes operate, including China, Iran, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, as well as others in Europe and Africa.

Founded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2000, World School Milk Day seeks to establish healthy eating habits, helping students perform at their academic and physical best.