National Dairy Month reminds us to focus on the benefits of incorporating dairy foods into our daily eating habits. Dairy foods provide a significant source of calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones, and milk provides 9 essential nutrients for overall health in adults and promoting growth in children/adolescents.
The National Dairy Council’s website provides great information, not only on the benefits of dairy foods but also on healthy eating initiatives in schools. The Dairy Council of Florida is an affiliate that also provides updated information on health and nutrition, in addition to local dairy farms and resources. To learn more about the Dairy Council of Florida and Florida Dairy Farmers, click here. They even provide tips for ways to manage lactose intolerance (click here).
Three hot topics in school and childhood nutrition that are important initiatives with the Dairy Council, are Fuel Up to Play 60, Recess before Lunch, and flavored milks in schools. Now that school’s out for summer, these fundamentals can still be practiced at home. Here’s more on each program and remember to aim for 3 servings per day (8 oz milk, 1 oz cheese, 6 oz yogurt)!:
• Fuel Up to Play 60 – a program and partnership between the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, encouraging kids to make healthy food choices to fuel their bodies to have the energy to play 60 minutes per day to increase physical activity. For more information or to register for your school in the Fuel Up To Play 60 program, visit their website.
• Recess before Lunch – the Florida Dairy Council piloted a program in 19 local Florida schools where kids had recess before their lunch period. The results were overwhelmingly positive: students ate more (less food wasted), behavior & concentration improved and teachers gained instruction time. To read more about the data on Recess before Lunch, click here.
• Flavored milks in schools (and at home) – this has been a controversial issue for quite some time now, but consistently research shows that flavored milk provides the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. These include calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin. One study in West Virginia schools showed that milk consumption dropped significantly, close to 75% in high school alone, when flavored milk was removed from the schools. As a result, new flavored milk with less sugar and a taste approved by students was added back into the school nutrition program and is helping them get milk’s nine essential nutrients. In addition, another study showed flavored milk drinkers have lower intakes of soft drinks compared to those who do not drink flavored milk. For more information on flavored milks in schools, visit: http://www.raiseyourhand4milk.com/
Kristine Van Workum, RD, CSSD, LDN LifeShape Registered Dietitian & Owner of Brevard Nutrition
Crustless Spinach Quiche
• 2 teaspoons canola oil
• 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
• 1 1/2 cups grated Cabot 50% Light Cheddar cheese
• 6 large egg whites
• 1 large egg
• 1/3 cup Cabot No Fat Cottage Cheese
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
• Drizzle oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
• Add onion; sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent
• Add spinach and stir for 3 additional minutes, or until spinach is dry. Set aside.
• Lightly coat 9″ nonstick pie pan with cooking spray
• Sprinkle cheese in pan. Top with spinach mixture
• In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites, egg, cottage cheese, red pepper, salt and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture over spinach.
• Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Let sit 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve warm.
Nutrition Per Serving (makes 4 servings): Calories: 215, Total Fat: 11 g (5 g Sat. Fat), Chol: 75 mg, Sodium: 550 mg, Total Carbohydrate: 6 g, Protein: 23 g, Calcium: 40% DV