Dairy foods are packed with important nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin D. In addition, they are an excellent source of protein. Not only are they chock-full of nutrients, but milk and other dairy products also may prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures—and can even help you maintain a healthy weight. Below are five easy, tasty ways to give your everyday meals and snacks a dairy boost.
- Make oatmeal with milk instead of water.
A simple way to boost your dairy intake: Replace water with milk in recipes. For example, replacing water with milk while cooking your oatmeal gives you an additional 13 essential nutrients. Milk is both a simple cup-for-cup swap, and it’s full of nutrients you need for energy and strength. Banana Walnut Oatmeal
- Blend a green smoothie with spinach, yogurt, orange juice, strawberries, and flax seeds.
Smoothies are a great way to get more fruits, vegetables, and dairy into your diet. Did you know that Americans are not getting enough of any of those food groups, per the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans? If you build your own smoothie with this smoothie adventure infographic, you will be well on your way to hitting these nutritional goals in your diet.
- Spread ricotta cheese on whole-grain toast and top with raspberries and walnuts.
Replace the avocado on your toast with ricotta cheese to add more protein to your breakfast. If you’re not into that combination, check out 12 Ways to Toast for some great recommendations and inspiration. The combination of whole-grain toast, fruit, and dairy provides three food groups, a lot of nutrition, and provides a great healthy start to your day. Choosing variety and balance across all food groups is important.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese on leafy green salads, power bowls, and roasted veggies.
Want to ramp up your intake of fruits and vegetables? We can’t think of a better way than combining dairy with plants. This superfood duo can provide a large chunk of your daily needs of essential nutrients. For more information on this powerful couple go here: Choose your own Adventure with Dairy and Plants
- Build a dinner board with cubed cheeses, veggies, whole-grain crackers, nuts, and hummus.
What’s a dinner board?, you ask. It’s a simple, almost no-cooking-required way to pull dinner together fast while offering a variety of foods for your family and guests. A dairy-filled dinner board makes an easy weeknight dinner that adds more nutrients to your day. It’s easy to add a little something to please everyone at the table: various types of cubed cheeses, soft cheeses, carrots, sweet peppers, figs, whole-grain crackers, nuts, and hummus.