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Dairy Consumption: Are you Getting Enough Milk?

June happens to be dairy month, which make it the perfect time to reflect on your dairy consumption.  Dairy foods contain calcium which is key in building strong bones and teeth.  Calcium is a mineral that babies, children, and adults need on a regular basis.  We need to continuously strengthen our bones throughout our lifetime.  Unfortunately, only children age 1-3 get enough dairy (or calcium rich foods) in their diet.

Calcium rich foods are most commonly found in dairy foods, and it is recommended that we get at least 3 servings every day.  The best source of dairy type foods is milk.  Milk is nutrient rich, and can also be low in calories.  Be sure to buy the fat free or low fat milk to cut total calories.  Milk also happens to be the dairy food we consume the most of, making up about 51% of American’s dairy consumption.  This is of course followed closely followed by cheese which makes up about 43% of our dairy consumption.  While cheese can be a good source of calcium, it is important to be aware of how much sodium and fat is in the cheese you are consuming.  There are low fat cheese options that will allow you to enjoy the delicious dairy food without all of the added fat and calories.

If you are allergic to milk, are lactose intolerant, or cannot consume dairy products for some other reason, not to worry.  There are a variety of other sources of calcium.  Broccoli and pinto beans are both sources of calcium.  Calcium can also be found in calcium fortified orange juice, and different types of milk, such as soy milk.  If it is not cow’s milk you are drinking, be sure to look closely at the label to ensure that it still has the same nutrients that you are looking for.  Many products claim the name ‘milk’ but have fewer nutrients, and a much larger price tag. 

Most importantly, be sure to get three servings of calcium rich food every day for strong bones and teeth.  Remember that eating right and getting enough calcium is not just for kids; everyone is responsible for taking care of their body.

Here is a recipe for a banana dessert that is packed with ingredients from both the fruit and dairy group.  Enjoy!

Banana Waldorf

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 banana (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 apple (cored and sliced, with peel)
  • 4 cups yogurt (nonfat vanilla)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup walnuts (ground)

 

Directions: 

First, mix all of ingredients together in large mixing bowl.  Then, place it in individual serving dishes and chill until ready to serve, up to 1 hour.  This dessert looks great when topped with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Makes: 4 serving. Each serving contains 48 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein, and 3 grams dietary fiber.

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