Photo courtesy of Midwest Dairy Council.
Written by Whitney Jerman under the direction and review of Ann Schwader.
The recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we should consume three servings of dairy each day. However, most Americans fall below that recommendation, getting only an average of 1.8 servings per day. This means we are missing out on the key nutrients that dairy provides.
As a Registered Dietitian, I often recommend dairy because it makes healthy eating easier. Here are a few reasons why:
- Dairy is nutritious. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt deliver nine essential nutrients, pair well with fruits and vegetables and can actually help us eat more of these foods.
- Dairy is affordable. At about $0.25 per eight-ounce glass, milk provides a valuable source of nutrition and is quite a bargain when you think of all of the liquid assets inside.
- Dairy is convenient. The dairy aisle is full of grab and go options. Food that are healthy and convenient are a big “win”, because we are much more likely to consume them.
Take the Pledge!
Be sure to take our Dairy 3 for Me Pledge on the Midwest Dairy Council website or by using the hashtag #Dairy3forMe on Twitter!
Try the following tips to help you get your “Dairy 3 for Me” every day:
- Use dairy as a base in your smoothie creations. Blend 1-½ cups fruit, 1 container yogurt, ½ cup milk and 5 ice cubes. Try adding spinach or greens for extra nutrition.
- Substitute syrup on pancakes or waffles with flavored yogurt. A great example is the Midwest Dairy Council’s Berry Yogurt Parfait Pancakes.
- Liven up weekday meals with a dairy-inspired bar:
- Build your own parfait: include a variety of yogurts, fruit, nuts and whole grain cereals.
- Individual pizzas: use whole grain pitas or tortillas, tomato sauce, various vegetable toppings and cheese.
- Make milk your mealtime beverage.
- Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise. Try Cucumber Yogurt Dip. Yogurt and cucumbers make a delicious dipping combination.
Find additional dairy information, nutrition tips and recipes at Midwest Dairy Council.