By Jacqueline Gomes, RD, MBA
Celebrate Cheese, milk and yogurt! Dairy products are good sources of vitamin D and calcium – nutrients vital to good health. 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 it 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
Here’s one sweet recipe that doesn’t skimp on dairy or flavor.
Super Power Energy Smoothie for One
Prep: (1 hour freezing) 15 minutes active time
Makes: 1 Serving
- 1 large fully-ripened banana, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
- ¼ cup chilled water
- 2 Tbsp nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 tsp honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
In a single layer on a plate, freeze the banana slices for at least 1 hour (or overnight). Add the frozen banana slices, yogurt, water, milk powder, honey, and vanilla to a blender container. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass.
Tip: Freeze any leftover smoothie in popsicle molds for a frozen treat anytime!
Nutrition information: 280 Calories; 2.5g Fat; 1.5 Saturated fat; 10mg Cholesterol; 135mg Sodium; 35% DV for Calcium; 11g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber
Recipe: National Dairy Council