It’s that time of year again. Fall brings cozy sweaters and comfort food, along with an abundance of tempting treats. Everywhere you turn you see pumpkin lattes, muffins, donuts, cookies, pancakes, and fall-flavored treats galore! Halloween candy has been on display for weeks. With all these seasonal treats, sticking to a shopping list of nutritious food in the grocery store can feel nearly impossible.
During these fall months, I spend a lot of time with my clients working on ways to include fun seasonal foods while still honoring health goals. Nourishing dairy foods play an important role in my nutrition education because they are such a convenient and delicious source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, phosphorous and B-vitamins. Here are a few of my favorite fall foods that include a serving of dairy, which helps to keep the candy cravings at bay:
Fall-flavored Greek or Icelandic yogurt
These delicious, creamy, and satisfying snacks are high in protein, and lower in sugar. A few of my favorite fall flavors are Siggi’s Pumpkin Spice, Chobani Pumpkin Spice, Chobani Apple Cinnamon and Chobani Maple.
Photo via The Spruce
his is great for my clients who have busy mornings and want to start their day with something quick, easy and delicious. Assemble these in 5 minutes at night for an easy grab and go breakfast the next morning. This treat includes a great source of whole grain from the oats, as well as nourishing protein from the milk. Try this fall variety from The Spruce that incorporates pumpkin: Overnight Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal.
My 11-year old daughter loves to bake and we often make a treat on the weekend. We recently really loved these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Minimalist Baker. Be sure to add real buttermilk to make them extra special!
Photo via The Recipe Rebel
Many of the fall-flavored smoothies from chain restaurants and kiosks are extraordinarily heavy on sugar and light on actual whole food. It is easy to whip up a homemade fall smoothie that incorporates milk or yogurt, a little ice and a favorite fall fruit, like juicy apples. Try this Apple Crisp Smoothie from Recipe Rebel that includes low-fat milk and Greek yogurt for a double protein punch.
Homemade Pumpkin Latte
Fall would not be fall without the Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks, but even their smallest version (the tall) has over 200 calories and 37 grams of sugar. Cooking Light shows you how to make your own, by using wholesome 1% milk and less sugar. These will save your waistline and your pocketbook, too. Try making a Homemade Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte. Which fall foods do you enjoy snacking on? Leave me a comment below.
American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.