Fueling kids for back to school
(Family Features) As kids head back to school, it’s a good time to refocus on nutritious food and beverage choices to make sure kids are properly fueled and ready to learn. Making the best choices for her family is every mom’s priority, but it can be confusing to navigate all the options available.
For example, many celebrity websites, diet books, blogs and popular social media feeds make it appear trendy to ditch dairy. Yet experts say going dairy-free has significant downfalls, especially for kids and young adults. A survey from the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) found 6 in 10 moms have tried restricting their dairy intake, and fewer moms encourage their kids to drink milk today compared to how many were encouraged to drink milk themselves as children – in fact, some are even restricting their children’s intake of dairy.
It can be hard to get enough nutrients without milk in your diet. Drinking dairy milk during childhood through early adulthood is important to help achieve maximum bone strength. It’s also important to drink milk as an adult to help maintain bone strength and density. Most dairy alternatives don’t have the same nutrients as dairy milk and kids may not eat enough kale, spinach or sardines to replace the calcium in milk.
However, many moms know how important milk is for their kids. According to the NOF survey, more than 80 percent of moms know milk is nutrient-rich. In fact, milk is the top food source for three of the four nutrients of concern identified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: calcium, vitamin D and potassium.
Incorporating farm-fresh milk into your diet can be fun for the whole family. Try making your own flavored milk or smoothie at home with these recipes for Vanilla Cinnamon Milk or a Rainbow Unicorn Smoothie.
Find more information and nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.
Vanilla Cinnamon Milk
- 8 ounces milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- In glass, combine milk with vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and honey. Stir until well mixed.
Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 5 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 105 mg sodium; 308 mg calcium (30% of daily value).
Rainbow Unicorn Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat or fat-free milk, plus additional (optional)
- 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 2 cups (about 10 large) frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 6 tablespoons whipped cream
- 4 teaspoons sprinkles
- horn candles, wicks trimmed
- Blend milk, yogurt and fruit until smooth, adding additional milk or water to thin, if needed.
- Divide smoothie into four glasses and, if desired, top each with whipped cream, sprinkles and horn candles.
Nutritional information per serving: 120 calories; 1 g fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 5 g protein; 25 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 60 mg sodium; 175 mg calcium (20% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk.
A perfect way to entertain around the table
(Family Features) With springtime in full bloom, brunch is the perfect way to entertain friends and family for nearly any upcoming occasion or celebration. Take advantage of the budding season with quality time spent with loved ones, more outdoor experiences and wholesome nutrition for the whole family, starting with a delicious morning meal around the table.
When it comes to the food they serve their families, moms want to provide good nutrition, especially for their kids, to help them grow up healthy and strong. Serving a nutritious meal each morning is one way to help kids get a good start to the day, so they can be their best in school, play and any other activities the day brings.
Whether moms know it or not, they are powerful role models for their children’s health and nutrition. When moms set the example and eat nutritious meals themselves, kids notice. For instance, according to a study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, moms who drink milk are more likely to have kids who drink milk, which is a household staple that provides important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Setting the example for quality nutrition can be made easy with a delicious meal served with milk to celebrate any occasion this season with guests of all ages.
This simple egg casserole is the perfect excuse to bring the family together and start a beautiful spring day with a wholesome meal and quality time together. For more recipes and reasons to bring the family together, visit milklife.com.
Easy Egg Casserole
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup lean ham, cubed
- 1 cup frozen seasoned potatoes with onions and peppers
- 3/4 cup frozen spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup lowfat cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Arrange ham, potatoes, spinach and cheese in bottom of casserole dish. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk together and pour over ingredients in casserole dish.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Serve immediately.
- Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 350 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 630 mg sodium; 500 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Quality nutrition for the perfect start to longer spring days
(Family Features) With warm weather on the horizon, it’s time to turn the clocks forward and say “so long” to winter and “hello” to longer spring days. With an extra hour of daylight ahead, spring is the perfect season to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and get the family on track with healthy habits and quality nutrition – starting at breakfast.
As you plan morning meals for your family this spring, remember that milk provides important nourishment – like high-quality protein – for you and your kids. As one of the original farm-to-table food, this wholesome drink typically arrives on grocery store shelves in just two days from many family-owned and -operated dairy farms. Milk is minimally processed for safety and farm fresh, often originating from dairy farms fewer than 300 miles away from your grocery store.
Start off warm springtime mornings with a sweet, butterfly-inspired twist on a breakfast sandwich made with Mandarin orange slices, sure to get your kids excited about wholesome choices at breakfast. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk to give your kids more of what they already love, with protein they need to give them a good start on the day.
For more information and kid-friendly recipes with milk, visit milklife.com.
Recipe by Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb
- 1 white English muffin
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- 6 blueberries
- 4 mandarin orange slices
- 1 green grape, cut into strips
- Slice and toast English muffin. Spread cream cheese on both halves of muffin.
- Arrange three blueberries in a line down the middle of each half of the muffin and place a mandarin orange slice on each side of the blueberry lines to serve as wings of the butterfly. Place grape strips above blueberry line as antennas.
- Serve with an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 310 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 440 mg sodium; 364 mg calcium (35% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
(Family Features) If you’re planning a monster bash this Halloween, brew up drinks so frightfully delicious that it will spook the taste buds of every little ghost, witch and goblin.
The Spooky Smoothie is a flavorful combination of vanilla milk and Greek yogurt, which is blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. The fun is all in the orange-tinted Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, so make sure to serve it in a clear glass. And ghosts will rise from the dead for the chocolaty Monster Mash Mudslide. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk.
Both of these tasty concoctions feature TruMoo, which is made with 35 percent less total sugar than the leading chocolate and vanilla milk competitor and has no high fructose corn syrup. That’s one thing that won’t scare you this Halloween season.
Yield: 4 servings
- 3 cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color
- 1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 5 cups ice cubes
- 1/4 cup fat free whipped cream
- Candy corn for garnish, optional
- In blender, combine vanilla milk, yogurt and ice cubes. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
- To serve, pour into serving glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy corn.
Monster Mash Mudslide
Yield: 4 servings
- 4 cups TruMoo Lowfat Chocolate Milk
- 10 chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
- 1/2 cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
- 8 mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended)
- In blender, blend chocolate milk and chocolate wafer cookies until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.
- To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving, spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into dollop for eyes.
Note: To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave.
(Family Features) After a long day at school, kids need a chance to unwind. Often that down time involves physical activity, and a nutritious snack is the perfect way to make sure kids are ready to take on their free time with gusto then recharge to keep going until bedtime.
A busy schedule may make the temptation for unhealthy convenience snacks strong, but it’s actually easier than you think to refuel with good-for-you foods on the go. One simple trick: use kids’ favorite ingredients in unexpected ways.
For example, these Chocolate Banana Muffins show that a glass isn’t the only way to enjoy chocolate milk. When you use a nutrient-rich option like TruMoo Chocolate Milk, you can feel great about serving up these muffins to your whole family. It’s a nutritious and delicious treat for adults and kids alike, whether you enjoy it on its own – served cold or hot – or as an addition to recipes.
It’s made with fresh white milk sourced from local dairies, pure cocoa and just enough natural sugar to make it taste great, it's a nutritious and delicious treat for adults and kids alike. What’s more, there’s no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial growth hormones and no GMO ingredients.
"The protein, vitamins, minerals and great taste in TruMoo Chocolate Milk can help kids meet their nutritional score in every pour," registered dietitian Leslie Bonci said. "The protein and carbohydrates included is the perfect ratio to help replace electrolytes lost after engaging in after-school sports."
Find more delicious after-school and after-sports snack ideas at TruMoo.com.
Chocolate Banana Muffins
Recipe courtesy of the Mommy Hates Cooking blog on behalf of TruMoo
Yield: 18 muffins
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups TruMoo Chocolate Milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 3 medium bananas
- old-fashioned rolled oats
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cocoa. Add in milk, butter, vanilla and eggs. Continue mixing until batter is formed.
- Mix in bananas. Add spoonful of batter to greased muffin tins; fill about halfway full then sprinkle batter with rolled oats.
- Bake 25 minutes, or until golden on top.
Impress guests with elegant appetizers
(Family Features) Bringing an element of elegance to your holiday celebration is easy when you start with party-pleasing ingredients, and great tasting food often starts with dairy. Foods like milk, cheese and yogurt not only enhance the flavor and texture of dishes everyone loves, but they also add high-quality nutrients to support the health and wellbeing of your guests.
Each of these recipes features a different variety of cheese as the essential ingredient for success. These decadent, elegant apps, which can be prepared in minutes, are sure to be party favorites. Find more ideas for serving up an elegant, yet simple menu your guests will love at MilkMeansMore.org.
Holiday Baked Brie
Recipe created by Foxes Love Lemons on behalf of United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 14 minutes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 Brie round (8 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- crackers or toasted bread
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 8-10 minutes, or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
- Place Brie on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking pan; drizzle with honey. Transfer to oven and bake 5-7 minutes, or until inside of cheese is softened, but outside remains intact.
- Transfer Brie to serving platter; top with pomegranate arils, pistachios and mushrooms. Serve immediately with crackers or bread.
Butternut Squash Queso Dip
Recipe created by Rachel Cooks on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 12 ounces butternut squash puree, frozen
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 finely diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (10 ounces) petite diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Place unwrapped squash in microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave 5 minutes at 50 percent power, or until thawed.
- In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add squash, tomatoes, cumin and chili powder, and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and add cheese. Stir until melted and serve immediately.
Parmesan Crisps with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato
Recipe created by Art From My Table on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 basil leaves
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, jarred
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- On baking sheet, make eight flat circles out of 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese each. Bake cheese 5 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
- Using metal spatula, remove crisps from pan immediately, placing on rack or plate to cool.
- Place vinegar and sugar in small saucepan and boil until mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup and is thickened.
- Top each crisp with 1 fresh basil leaf and 1 sun-dried tomato. Drizzle balsamic reduction over top.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Recipe created by The Lemon Bowl on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 24 large mushrooms, stemmed and reserved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 1 pinch minced scallions
- Heat oven to 350° F and place mushroom caps in single layer on baking sheet lined with foil.
- Mince reserved mushroom stems and heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushroom stems to pan along with salt and pepper. Saute 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened. Add spinach and artichoke hearts to pan and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture in large mixing bowl. Stir in feta cheese and onion. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
- Using small cookie scoop, add 2 tablespoons filling to each mushroom cap. Bake mushrooms 20-25 minutes, or until mushroom caps are softened. Sprinkle with chili flakes and minced scallions to serve.