Dairy Month & Bone Health

June Dairy Month


Calcium is vital for healthy bones and teeth and proper growth in children. Adequate calcium intake reduces the risk for osteoporosis later in life, and more calcium is absorbed and stored in childhood than at any other time.

The best sources of calcium are dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. If you are lactose intolerant or have a milk protein allergy, you can still get enough calcium by eating foods like canned salmon and sardines (with bones), collard greens, and the many calcium-fortified foods available, such as fortified orange juice and soymilk! Read the nutrition facts label on all foods to see if they are rich in calcium (at least 10% DV).

How much do you need? 3-A-Day, that’s 3 servings of milk, cheese or yogurt! Vitamin D has several essential bodily functions. Not only does vitamin D maintain blood calcium and phosphorus levels, it aids in the absorption of calcium to form and maintain strong bones, it works with calcium to increase bone density and decreases fractures. Recent studies show that vitamin D also may protect from osteoporosis, hypertension, cancer and several autoimmune diseases!

A serving of Dairy includes the following:

  • 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk
  • 1 -1/2 ounces of hard cheese (parmesan, mozzarella, Swiss)
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese
  • 2 ounces American cheese
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup of frozen yogurt

Cucumber Leek Soup

Cucumber Leek Soup

This simple, yet unique cucumber leek soup sets the table for a light meal that will warm up your winter days.


  • 1 tablespoon butter unsalted
  • 2 large leeks {about ½ pound), trimmed, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 large seedless cucumbers (4 cups), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • ¾ cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup feta or blue cheese crumbles


  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 5 minutes. Mix in cucumbers; sauté for 1 minute then remove from heat.
  2. Add leeks, cucumbers, milk, lemon juice and mint to a blender or food processor; puree for 1 minute. Add pepper and salt to taste; blend together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt and honey together. Fold into cucumber soup. For best flavor results, chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, ladle soup into four bowls. Add 2 tablespoons of tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of cheese crumbles in the center of each bowl.

Substitution Idea: Super versatile, this soup can be served at room temperature or chilled – experiment with different fresh herbs (like dill, parsley or oregano)!

Recipe by: Midwest Dairy Association