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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

It's Dairy-licious!

Posted by Jenna Smith -

Do you speed through the dairy section in the grocery store? I know those cold refrigerated cases make me want to grab what I need in a hurry before I get too chilled! But you may want to put on a jacket and spend a little more quality time in the dairy section. Intake of dairy products, which are rich in calcium and vitamin D, is linked to improved bone health, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Dairy intake is especially important for children and teens, when bone mass is being built. All those who are 9 years of age and older need 3 cups of dairy foods each day.

Are you having trouble getting the recommended amount of dairy in your diet? Not a milk drinker? Try some of these tips for adding more dairy in your day.

  • Make smoothies in the blender using 1 cup of low-fat milk or yogurt, fruit and ice cubes.
  • Dip fresh veggies in a dip made of plain non-fat yogurt mixed with taco seasoning.
  • Make a cheese quesadilla using a layer of ¼ cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, chopped red bell pepper and a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Use non-fat or low-fat milk to cook oatmeal instead of water.
  • Mix flavored low-fat yogurt with cereal.

Of course, drinking milk or calcium-fortified soymilk is the easiest way to meet your dairy and calcium needs. Even low-fat flavored milk can be better than no milk at all. But as in everything, moderation is always the key. And choosing non-fat or low-fat dairy products are important. Diets high in saturated fats and cholesterol may have ill health effects. Many cheeses, whole milk, and products made from them are high in saturated fat. To help keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat.

Try this cold and delicious treat. The kids are sure to love it!

Purple Cow (Printable PDF)

2 cups non-fat frozen yogurt

1 ½ cups non-fat milk

1 can (6 oz) frozen grape juice concentrate

  1. In a blender, combine non-fat frozen yogurt, milk and frozen grape juice concentrate.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth.

Yield: 4 Servings

Nutritional Analysis: 250 Calories, 4.5 g fat, 105 mg sodium, 47 g total carbohydrate

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Also a great snack but healthier: Greek yoghurt (with the fat) chopped apple, chopped walnut, and cinnamon.
by Marijke Woelfel on Monday 5/21/2012

Thanks, Marijke! You're right. Greek yogurt is wonderful dairy snack. Thanks for the addition!
by Jenna Smith on Friday 5/25/2012