(Family Features) As a parent, instilling healthy eating habits in your children at an early age can aid in proper growth and development. Eating well goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels and improving moods while also reducing risk of obesity and other chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Set your children on a path to making lifelong nutritious choices with these tips:
Foster independence. Allowing your children to help with shopping and meal prep can aid in them taking ownership of what they’re eating. Start by divvying up easier tasks such as setting the table then work toward creating snacks and meals on their own. These Rainbow Fruit Parfaits are simple for kids to assemble – just set the ingredients out and let them layer – and can serve as a healthful on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.
Offer balanced options. Children require balanced diets made up of all three major food groups, including fruits and vegetables, for proper development. Looking for the Produce for Kids logo next to nutritional, family-friendly items at the grocery store is an easy way to identify healthy food choices while also supporting local organizations that help children and families in need.
Be a role model. Typically, your children will follow your behaviors, which includes the types of foods they select at mealtimes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help ensure your family is getting a complete range of nutrients. For example, a recipe like this Rainbow Buddha Bowl provides a combination of fresh and roasted vegetables that can be customized to meet your family’s tastes. Thinking about how many colors you eat in a day may inspire your kids to do the same, which can foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
To find more healthy meal inspiration, including more than 500 registered dietitian- and family-tested recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
Rainbow Fruit Parfaits
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 mandarins, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- In parfait glasses, layer strawberries, mandarins, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries and grapes.
- Top each fruit parfait with yogurt.
Rainbow Buddha Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Jodi of Create Kids Club on behalf of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 small purple cabbage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 tablespoons yogurt ranch dressing
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Place sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- Divide cooked quinoa into four bowls. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and avocado.
- Drizzle with dressing.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) Pamper mom on her special day with a wonderful brunch that all the kids can help make.
- Spiced Granola Pancakes include applesauce as a healthy substitution for fat in this recipe.
- Burrito Bites make a simple appetizer that is easy for kids to assemble. No cooking is required!
- Using a store-bought angel food cake makes preparation of this luscious Angel Sherbet Cake simple. It's low in calories and fat and is as pretty as it is delicious.
- Wheat Berry Tuna Salad is a tasty way to enjoy wheat berries. Wheat berries provide the nutritional benefits of the whole grain and are an excellent source of dietary fiber.
- Round out the brunch with favorite salads, side dishes and some fresh fruit. Follow that with lots of love, hugs and kisses!
Please visit the Wheat Foods Council's Web site at www.wheatfoods.org to order this cookbook or to find additional recipes.
Angel Sherbet Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Freeze time: at least 1 hour or until hard
Yields: 10 servings
- 1 pint raspberry sherbet
- 1 pint lime sherbet
- 1 Angel Food Cake loaf (store bought, approximately 7 x 3 inches)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream or 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Line two bread pans, approximately the same size as the angel food cake, with plastic wrap. Soften sherbet. Scoop lime sherbet into one pan and raspberry sherbet in the other. Spread sherbet with a metal spatula dipped in hot water. Sherbet should be approximately 1/2 inch deep. Refreeze sherbet in pans for at least 1 hour or until hard.
- Trim edges of angel food cake with a serrated knife to even them; cut cake into three lengthwise slices.
- Remove frozen lime and raspberry sherbet from freezer. Alternate layers, cake, sherbet, cake, sherbet and cake. Cut off any oversized sherbet or cake to ensure that cake and sherbet are even on all sides of the cake. Refreeze until solid; can be frozen up to 3 days if wrapped well in plastic wrap.
- Before serving, prepare cake topping by whipping the cream until very thick. Add sugar and lemon juice and whip mixture until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream on cake. Refreeze cake until ready to serve.
- Remove cake from freezer and let soften 5 to 10 minutes. Slice with an electric knife. If desired, place cake slices on pools of strawberry or raspberry sauce and top with a lemon twist and mint leaves.
Wheat Berry Tuna Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 to 90 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 cans Albacore tuna packed in water, drained
- 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Place wheat berries, water and salt in a sauce pan and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes until tender when you bite down on them.
- Drain well and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss together with the remaining ingredients. Serve chilled.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 tortilla roll-up
- 4 (9-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach or torn romaine leaves
- 1 large stalk celery, cut into thin 3- to 4-inch sticks (12 sticks total)
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded or matchstick
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt or low-fat ranch dressing (optional)
- Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese on each tortilla, leaving 1 inch of clean space at the top edge of each tortilla. Layer spinach leaves on top of peanut butter. Place three celery sticks across the middle on top of the spinach; sprinkle with shredded carrot.
- Keeping the clean edge at the top, roll tortillas up tightly from the bottom, folding in the sides after the first roll. Wrap each burrito tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices, inserting a toothpick into the burrito before each cut is made.
- Serve with yogurt or ranch dressing.
Spiced Granola Pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Serving size: 1 pancake
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon fat-free vanilla yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat granola
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In large bowl, combine milk, applesauce, yogurt, eggs and orange peel. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
- Heat nonstick griddle to 350°F. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto hot griddle. Cook each side until puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until golden brown.
(Family Features) Eating a high-protein breakfast can help provide energy and focus to keep your day on track. While many experts now recommend 25-30 grams of protein at each meal, the average breakfast plate only contains 13 grams. One way to help close the gap is to add an 8-ounce glass of milk to your meal. Whether organic, flavored or white, each variety provides nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounces to help start the day on the right foot.
Get ahead of the game and prep breakfast the night before so you have something delicious and satisfying to look forward to each morning. Now is the perfect time to update your routine with these powerhouse breakfast ideas. These recipes are all made and paired with milk, helping you get protein and nutrients you need to fuel your day.
Once you try these delicious recipes, you’ll never go back to your old, lackluster options again. For additional breakfast inspiration, visit milklife.com.
(Family Features) From the trees to the breeze, picnics are a fun way your family can soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.
“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and TV host Annessa Chumbley. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”
Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.
- Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
- Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to-make option.
- Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
- Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
- Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
- Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables when it’s time to chow down.
For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons green onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 ounce walnuts (about 14 halves)
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 bag (8 ounces) spinach
- 1 can (6 ounces) crab meat or fresh lump crab
- 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
- 1 grapefruit, cut into sections
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- To make dressing: Mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4-5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
- Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.
Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership
(Family Features) As leaves fall and temperatures cool, put a comforting twist on breakfast classics like oats and pancakes by incorporating autumn flavors from delicious fall harvest. Whether you're craving something sweet or savory, enjoying a breakfast full of wholesome ingredients and essential nutrients can help kick-start a great day.
Incorporating milk as an ingredient in your breakfast dish, or serving an 8-ounce glass on the side, is a nutritious way to start the day with essential nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D. Embrace the crisp temperatures and bring the whole family together for a delicious morning meal with these six fall breakfast essentials made with milk.
For more seasonal recipes made with milk to help you stay energized all year round, visit MilkLife.com.
Enjoy old-fashioned oats with a fall flair. Once sweetened with apples and maple syrup and spiced with cinnamon and salt, mix in 1 cup milk and simmer until creamy. Sprinkle extra cinnamon and garnish with golden raisins.
Jumpstart your morning with this protein breakfast bowl made with quinoa, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and spices galore.
Toss roasted pecans drizzled in maple syrup with pears and spices then mix into amaranth with milk for a creative twist on a classic breakfast favorite.
Two ingredients: milk and maple syrup. Warm up, pour into a mug and sip on this simple, delicious treat.
Combine two breakfast favorites – pancakes and muffins – for the ultimate grab-and-go meal made with apples, cinnamon and wholesome milk for your delight.
Try this tasty twist to add vegetables to your breakfast bowl by mixing shredded zucchini and oatmeal to make zoats. Flavored with cinnamon, brown sugar and pecans, this recipe is an ingenious way to bring the fall harvest to your morning meal.
(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.
Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.
Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.
Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.
Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.
Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:
- Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
- Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
- Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
- After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
- Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.
To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit MidwestDairy.com.
Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie
Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
- 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
- 3/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup ice (about 12 cubes)
- Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.
Pulled Pork Soft Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 limes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack
- 1 bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage
- 3/4 cup fresh salsa
- Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)
- Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.
- In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.
- Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.
Source: Midwest Dairy Association
(Family Features) While the main course is in the oven and guests mingle in anticipation this holiday season, tide them over with simple appetizers the whole crowd will enjoy.
That sometimes tall task may be easier said than done depending on the size of your get-together, but you can make it less daunting with quick starters that incorporate dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt, which can serve as helpful on-hand ingredients that also provide flavor and nutritional value. Since dairy foods are readily available in many family kitchens, they are ideal for creating recipes for last-minute noshes and nibbles, especially perfect for holiday entertaining.
For quick snacks to help keep appetites at bay, try these Antipasti Holiday Skewers that have something for everyone with bits of pasta, cubed cheese, pepperoni and veggies. Or for a warmer dish perfect for a snowy holiday, this Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip can help chase away the chill.
Other easy ways to give the gift of dairy during the holidays by incorporating it into tasty dishes include:
- Starting the day with egg casserole or a quiche made with milk and cheese.
- Sprinkling shredded cheese on steamed vegetables, casseroles or pasta dishes.
- Replacing mayo with plain Greek yogurt in tuna or chicken salads.
- Creating warm, comforting soups using milk.
Find more dairy-inspired recipes perfect for holiday entertaining at midwestdairy.com.
Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach frozen, thawed and drained
- 8 ounces plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup shredded, low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons red pepper, chopped
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Combine artichoke hearts, spinach, yogurt, cheese, onion and garlic; mix well.
- Pour mixture into 1-quart casserole dish or 9-inch pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
- Sprinkle with red peppers.
Nutritional information per serving: 179 calories; 12 g total fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 383 mg sodium; 227 mg potassium; 7 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein.
Antipasti Holiday Skewers
Prep time: 45 minutes
Yield: 16 skewers
- 1 package (9 ounces) cheese-filled tortellini, cooked al dente and cooled
- 1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing
- 1 block (8 ounces) reduced-fat Swiss cheese, cubed
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 32 pieces turkey pepperoni
- 3 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 16 wooden skewers, 9-10 inches each
- In large bowl, marinate tortellini in Italian dressing 30 minutes in refrigerator.
- To assemble skewers, start with two pieces tortellini, one cheese cube, two spinach leaves, one pepperoni slice (folded in fourths), one tomato and repeat. Each skewer will have total of four pieces tortellini, two cheese cubes, four spinach leaves, two pepperoni slices and two tomatoes.
- Repeat until skewers are complete. Refrigerate until serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 81 calories; 2 g fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 191 mg sodium; 113 mg potassium; 8 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein.
Source: Midwest Dairy
(Family Features) Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season – go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won’t carve a big chunk out of your budget:
- The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and fruits soften.
- Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy.
No matter the season, trim time grocery shopping by relying on a one-stop-shop like ALDI. Whether you’re looking for a new pumpkin spice treat or need quality ingredients for your famous chili, you can find it all at wallet-friendly prices.
Find more tips and recipes for a hassle-free fall at ALDI.us.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 1/2 cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
- 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
- 2 teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
- SimplyNature Flax Seed
- Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels
- Southern Grove Chopped Pecans, toasted
- Apple slices
- SimplyNature Organic Ground Cinnamon
- Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes.
Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel
Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 1 package Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies
- 1/2 cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided
- 1/2 cup packed Baker's Corner Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup Sweet Harvest Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 8 ounces Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened
- 1/4 cup Baker's Corner Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
- 8 ounces Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
- Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs.
- In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat.
- To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glasses, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing to combine. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping.
- To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
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.
(Family Features) Americans are snacking more and more these days, with the average person consuming 25 percent of daily calories in the form of snacks. This school year, aim for an A-plus in nutrition by snacking smarter on nutrient-rich dairy products.
Snacking goes hand-in-hand with dairy products since they are a tasty, convenient and cost-effective way to fuel up throughout the day. There are a variety of grab-and-go milk, cheese and yogurt products that provide portable nutrition.
What’s more, dairy packs a nutritious punch. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, an important nutrient to include in snacks since it helps you feel fuller longer.
Boost your snacking IQ with these smart tips:
- Add dairy to your favorite treats for a well-rounded snack. Pair cheese sticks with fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear or grapes. Reach for cheese cubes and whole-grain crackers when you want something savory. Or dip strawberries in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat. For a kid-friendly snack, make it hands-on fun by creating colorful fruit and cheese kabobs.
- Flavored milk provides the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. The only difference is the addition of flavorings and minimal amounts of sugar, which can lead to improved consumption, especially among children.
- Whip up a dairy-based smoothie made for an on-the-go snack or create your own yogurt parfait, such as this flavorful recipe that combines favorites like peanut butter and bananas in a deliciously refreshing treat.
For more tips and recipes to help you snack smarter, and for stories about dairy farm families and where dairy foods come from, visit MidwestDairy.com.
Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Yogurt Parfait
Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup nonfat, light vanilla yogurt
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 4 pretzel twists, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 banana, sliced
- In small bowl, mix yogurt and peanut butter together. In separate bowl, toss walnuts and pretzels together.
- In tall glass, build parfait. Layer 1/2 cup yogurt, half of banana slices and 1 tablespoon of walnut/pretzel mixture. Repeat layers. Serve immediately.
Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 8 wooden skewers
- 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 18 cubes
- 1/2 cup strawberries, halved
- 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 6 purple grapes
- Thread each skewer with one piece of cheese, one strawberry half, one cantaloupe cube, one pineapple cube, another piece of cheese, one piece of kiwi, two blueberries, one grape and another piece of cheese. Repeat pattern with remaining skewers.