How to fuel kids’ day with milk


As kids head back to school, it’s a good time to refocus on nutritious food and beverage choices to make sure kids are properly fueled and ready to learn. Making the best choices for her family is every mom’s priority, but it can be confusing to navigate all the options available.

For example, many celebrity websites, diet books, blogs and popular social media feeds make it appear trendy to ditch dairy. Yet experts say going dairy-free has significant downfalls, especially for kids and young adults.

A survey from the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) found six in 10 moms have tried restricting their dairy intake, and fewer moms encourage their kids to drink milk today compared to how many were encouraged to drink milk themselves as children – in fact, some are even restricting their children’s intake of dairy.

Importance of milk
It can be hard to get enough nutrients without milk in your diet. Drinking dairy milk during childhood through early adulthood is important to help achieve maximum bone strength.

It’s also important to drink milk as an adult to help maintain bone strength and density.

Most dairy alternatives don’t have the same nutrients as dairy milk and kids may not eat enough kale, spinach or sardines to replace the calcium in milk.

However, many moms know how important milk is for their kids. According to the NOF survey, more than 80 percent of moms know milk is nutrient-rich. In fact, milk is the top food source for three of the four nutrients of concern identified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

Incorporating farm-fresh milk into your diet can be fun for the whole family. Try making your own flavored milk or smoothie at home with these recipes for Vanilla Cinnamon Milk or a Rainbow Unicorn Smoothie.


1 1/2 cups low-fat or fat-free milk, plus additional (optional)
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 cups (about 10 large) frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
Optional toppings:
6 tablespoons whipped cream
4 teaspoons sprinkles
horn candles, wicks trimmed

Blend milk, yogurt and fruit until smooth, adding additional milk or water to thin, if needed.

Divide smoothie into four glasses and, if desired, top each with whipped cream, sprinkles and horn candles.

Nutritional information per serving: 120 calories; 1 g fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 5 g protein; 25 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 60 mg sodium; 175 mg calcium (20 percent of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk.


8 ounces milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey

In a glass, combine milk with vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and honey. Stir until well mixed.

Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 5 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 105 mg sodium; 308 mg calcium (30 percent of daily value).


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