Overnight oats made with milk for a fast, nutritious breakfast. Yogurt swirled with your favorite berries. Food is such a personal decision, and fortunately there are so many paths to a balanced plate to provide the nutrition we need no matter our age, budget, taste preferences, or health goals.
Dairy farmers have been supporting education to showcase how nutritious foods are delicious and easy to work into our menus for over a century, so it’s exciting to talk about how we can bring the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines to life on our plate, including how to choose dairy foods.
More than ever before, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines celebrate the variety of ways we can enjoy nutritious foods as a part of healthy eating styles to help us reach our heath goals from childhood through adulthood.
So what can you do? It’s easier than you may think. Simply start with a goal of focusing on menus that include nutrient-rich, delicious vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods to get the nutrition your body needs. Each food group provides unique nutrition. For example, fat-free and low-fat dairy, like milk, cheese and yogurt, provide important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and potassium to the American diet, but nearly 9 out of every 10 people (~86% of Americans aged 1+ years) aren’t meeting their daily goals for dairy foods.
Adding just one more serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy each day can be easy as part of your quest to help build healthier meals and increase to the recommended servings for dairy. Check out these easy to prepare, great-tasting options that can be enjoyed on their own or paired with tasty, nutrient-rich foods from other food groups:
- Try adding some low-fat cheese to your salad
- Cut up fresh veggies and cheese cubes and make salad skewers
- Make yogurt parfaits or smoothies with any of your favorite seasonal fruit
- Make a hearty oatmeal by stirring in low-fat milk
- Pair a cold glass of milk with your favorite sandwich on whole-grain bread
- Mix yogurt and salsa or fresh herbs for a flavorful dressing for your favorite salad
- Smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit and whole grain sprinkles
- Whole grain cereal blend and milk
- Or even just a simple, refreshing glass of cold (or hot) milk before bed
How do you do your dairy to achieve a healthy eating style?