Did you get enough Dairy today?

10 tips for getting enough Dairy in your diet

Nutrition Education Series

The Dairy Group includes milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soymilk. They provide calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein, and other nutrients needed for good health throughout life. Choices should be low-fat or fat-free – to cut calories and saturated fat.

How much is needed? Older children, teens, and adults need 3 cups* a day, while children 4 to 8 years old need 2½ cups, and children 2 to 3 years old need 2 cups.

Number One“Skim” the fat

Bottle of Fat-Free MilkDrink fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk. If you currently drink whole milk, gradually switch to lower fat versions. This change cuts saturated fat and calories but doesn’t reduce calcium or other essential nutrients.

Number SixSwitch ingredientsContainer of Lowfat Yogurt

When recipes such as dips call for sour cream, substitute plain yogurt. Use fat-free evaporated milk instead of cream, and try low-fat or fat-free ricotta cheese as a substitute for cream cheese.

Number TwoBoost potassium and vitamin D, and cut sodium

Choose fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt more often than cheese. Milk and yogurt have more potassium and less sodium than most cheeses. Also, almost all milk and many yogurts are fortified with vitamin D.

Number SevenLimit added sugars

Sugar Cubes

Flavored milks and yogurts, frozen yogurt, and puddings can contain a lot of added sugars. Get your nutrients from dairy foods with fewer or no added sugars.

Number ThreeTop off your mealsA Bowl of Cereal with Milk and Fruit

Use fat-free or low-fat milk on cereal and oatmeal. Top fruit salads and baked potatoes with low-fat yogurt instead of higher fat toppings such as sour cream.

Number EightDrink Coffee?

A Cup of Coffee with MilkIf so, get your calcium along with your morning caffeine boost. Make or order coffee, a latte, or cappuccino with fat-free or low-fat milk.

Number FourChoose cheeses with less fat

Many cheeses are high in saturated fat. Look for “reduced-fat” or “low-fat” on the label. Try different brands or types to find the one that you like.

Number NineCan’t drink milk?Carton of Soy Milk

If you are lactose intolerant, try yogurt, lactose-free milk, or soymilk (soy beverage) to get your calcium. Calcium in some leafy greens is well absorbed, but eating several cups each day to meet calcium needs may be unrealistic.

Number FiveWhat about cream cheese?A Tub of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Cream cheese, cream, and butter are not part of the dairy food group. They are high in saturated fat and have little or no calcium.

Number TenTake care of yourself
and your family

Family Eating DinnerParents who drink milk and eat dairy foods show their kids that it is important for their health. Dairy foods are important to build the growing bones of kids and teens and to maintain bone health in adulthood.

* What counts as a cup in the Dairy Group? 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soy beverage, 1½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese

You might enjoy…

You might also enjoy these cookbooks…

Remember, nutritious doesn’t mean low-calorie. When cooking with dairy products, see if skim or low-fat milk may be substituted for a lower-calorie option.

The Dairy good cookbook by Lisa Kingsley
by Lisa Kingsley

low carb homemade ice cream by Elizabeth Jane
by Elizabeth Jane

Customer Review: “…full of recipes, instructions and photographs to explain in easy terms how to make some of your favorite comfort foods. You don’t need to be a great cook in order to make these dishes come out perfect. …your dish turn out just like the ones in the pictures. This cookbook will have you on your way to impressing your family and friends with some of their favorite dishes, guaranteed.”

Customer Review: “Easy to follow directions and each of the recipes had pictures. The nutritional facts were very helpful as well. One of my favorites is the choco-chip with vanilla bean. I don’t add the salt like it calls for in the recipe and it still tasted great! The cherry bomb was also delicious.”

Thank you for spending time with us today. Wishing you the best of health!


Source: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Go to ChooseMyPlate for more information.

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Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

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