A look into the reasons why dairy is an important part of my children’s diet including four things you might not know about milk.
Back to school is here and I love the renewed sense of energy and excitement in the air! Whether it’s a healthy brown bag lunch or nutritious after school snacks, it seems everyone is looking for fresh ideas to fuel busy kids.
Today is this little man’s fourth birthday. FOUR!! Can you tell he was excited to start preschool last week? This kid. He is my everything. While I’ve always been focused on giving my boys the best possible foods to nourish their bodies, it is even more front of mind now that he has entered he classroom.
In the coming months, I’m excited to be partnering with Milk Life to help shed light on the reasons why I choose to feed my family milk. If you’ve followed my blog for some time, it probably comes as no surprise that our family loves dairy. Whether it’s plain yogurt in a creamy tzatziki sauce or milk in our fruit smoothies, I love adding nutrient-rich dairy to the meals I feed my family.
If you’ve visited a grocery store in recent years, you’ve likely noticed the growing number of non-dairy beverages available. While this is wonderful for folks with a dairy allergy, I have also noticed an increased amount of consumer confusion as a result.
In an effort to clear up misconceptions and shed light on the facts about dairy, I’m sharing four things you might not know about milk with help from Registered Dietitian Holley Grainger and research provided from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
1. Better Quality Ingredients: As you can see in the graphic above, cow’s milk is just three simple ingredients with no added sugar or salt. But not all non-dairy milks have the same nutrients as real milk. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re getting in each glass. Did you know that real milk has 8 times the protein of almond and rice milks – which contain a long list of ingredients, including added sugar, syrups, salt, thickeners and stabilizers? Yikes.
2. Milk is a Good Source of Protein: It’s important that kids get protein at every meal, especially breakfast, to help maximize how their bodies use it. In fact, protein at breakfast can help keep kids feel full and satisfied, so they won’t feel hungry by mid-morning. One 8-ounce glass of milk has eight grams of high-quality protein – almond milk only has one gram.
Again, I have nothing against almond milk and think it is a great option for those with dairy allergies. However, I can’t tell you how many friends and well-meaning moms tell me they buy almond milk because it’s a great source of protein. Almonds are a good source of protein. Almond milk is mostly carbohydrates.
3. Milk Offers Many Healthy Benefits: One reason I started my healthy living journey over eight years ago was that I wanted to prevent disease. Research suggests that consuming low-fat dairy provides many health benefits including lower risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. It’s not about skinny jeans, my friends, it’s about doing something today that my body will thank me for tomorrow.
4. Milk is Real: Whether you’re a long time reader of The Lemon Bowl or this is your first time visiting my website, one thing has remained constant: I am a big believer in eating as many real foods as possible. As my girl Jillian taught me years ago when I first read Master Your Metabolism, if it doesn’t come from the ground or have a mother, I don’t want to eat it. Milk is one of the original farm-to-table foods produced by farm families in your local area. Aside from pasteurization, a simple heat-treated process that ensures the milk you buy is safe to drink, little happens to milk from the farm to your glass. As a mom of two growing boys, I feel good about serving them milk.
At the end of the day, we all have choices to make when it comes to feeding our families. Choices are a good thing but with that can come a lot of confusion. My goal is to simply help you make those choices based on facts and scientific research, not on trends. I hope you’ve found this post helpful and I look forward to sharing more in the months to come.
Your straw is waiting.
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Disclosure: This recipe is in partnership with Milk Life. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.