A HERD of excited Smithfield Public School pupils will start painting a cow this week as part of Dairy Australia's Picasso Cows project.
The program uses creativity and teamwork to teach primary school pupils about Dairy Australia and the nutritional benefits of its products by providing a life-sized fibreglass cow for students to paint in one of three themes: Fuel for Life, Farm to Plate and Unbeatable Bones.
The school's years 1 and 2 teacher Louise Goulder said the school chose Unbeatable Bones so pupils could learn about the importance of consuming dairy.
"It's about getting children to increase their intake of calcium," she said. "The idea is they decorate the cow while learning about dairy so it becomes engaging for them."
She said while the students will take turns painting Barbie the cow, each class will also accessorise it.
"This program is really important because some of the students didn't know they had to have three servings of dairy each day," Mrs Goulder said.
"When we asked the students what gave them strong bones, they responded saying meat, fruit and vegetables. They forgot about mentioning dairy because they didn't know."'
But since they got the cow and learned the importance of dairy products, Mrs Goulder said the students now ensure they have three servings of dairy daily, as well as drinking milk.
The school was one of 10 primary schools across south-west Sydney to get a Picasso Cow this year.
The deadline for cow painting is November 4.