June Is National Dairy Month
By Pamela Redwine
June is National Dairy month and this year’s theme is “got flavored milk?” The theme highlights milk’s variety of great tasting flavors that make it even easier to get the required three servings of dairy a day in every healthy diet. Dairy month began in 1937 and has grown into an annual tradition. It honors the hard work of our nation’s dairy farmers, and it highlights the importance of dairy foods in our diets.
Flavored milk is a favorite among children. Many moms may be concerned that flavored milk will increase their child’s added sugar intake. The research shows that flavored milk actually boosts their overall calcium intake, without increasing their total added sugar intake.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, children who consume flavored milk drink more milk and have higher calcium intakes than those who don’t. In light of the fact that most children aren’t meeting current calcium recommendations, flavored milk can be mom’s alternative to help ensure kids get the calcium their growing bodies need.
Also, by encouraging flavored milk consumption, you can help reverse the trend toward soft drink and fruit drink consumption, which are crowding out more nutritious beverages like milk, and negatively impacting children’s diet quality.
According to government recommendations, children ages 4-8 need 800 milligrams of calcium a day, an equivalent of about 3 glasses of milk, while children ages 9-18 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium, or the equivalent of about 4 glasses of milk. In addition to calcium, milk provides eight essential nutrients, including vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
Eating calcium-rich dairy foods during childhood and adolescence will help build strong bones and prevent the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, recognized that people who consume more dairy foods have better overall diets, consume more nutrients and see improved bone health.
When you are shopping for your family check out some of the new milk packaging. The new Look milk has been extremely popular in many schools that have switched to this re-sealable plastic bottle. Schools, that have made the switch, report milk consumption has gone up. They say the children say it is colder and it tastes better.
Recipe of the week
Greek Chicken Wrap with Tzatziki Herb Yogurt Sauce
For the Sauce
2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
For the Wrap
1 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1-tablespoon light Italian dressing
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
4 kalamata or black olives, pitted and sliced
For the sauce
In a medium bow, combine all ingredients until blended. Sauce may be made up to 2 hour in advance. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
For the Wrap
Place chicken breast in a plastic bag and add Italian dressing. Let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes; pound (using a meat pounder or mallet or the bottom of a skillet) and flatten to about 1/2 inch-thickness; and remove chicken.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken breast about 5 minutes per side or until nicely browned and cooked through. Place chicken on a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain; set aside. Warm pitas in microwave oven 30 seconds. Place one pita on a plate and spread 1/2 cup of the lettuce and 1/4 of the chicken slices on top. Spinkle 1/4 each of the tomato, onion, feta cheese and olives. Spoon some of the tzatziki sauce over top and fold in edges of pita. Wrap sandwich in parchment of waxed paper for plating and serving. Repeat with remaining pitas. Serve immediately with additional sauce on the side.
Makes 4 servings