In honor of June being National Dairy Month, here are some tips about dairy. How can dairy benefit you? Dairy products help reach your calcium and vitamin D daily requirements. Calcium and vitamin D are important for promoting bone health. Research has shown that low-fat diary can also aid in weight loss. Good sources of dairy are yogurt, cheese, and milk.
- Three servings of low fat or fat-free dairy products daily is recommended as part of a healthy diet. Consuming these three dairy products daily along with a reduced calorie diet can also help you shed unwanted pounds.
- Being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy dairy products. Many lactose free items are now on the market. Try lactose free milk, soy , or almond milk as an alternative to regular milk. All Cabot cheeses are lactose free. There are also over the counter products on the market that help with lactose intolerance. Ask your local pharmacist.
- Make it portable: Pack string cheese, or consider packing fruit to dip in low-fat yogurt as a snack. Avoid the empty calorie snacks that we fall victim to, with a little advance planning. Some cheese products come prepackaged in individual serving packets. A single serving of cheese with crackers or wheat thins is a perfect afternoon picker upper.
The June issue of Pediatrics, the journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), contains an article about the appropriateness of sports drinks for children and adolescents. To make a long story short: AAP recommends that children rehydrate with water, use sports drinks sparingly, and don’t consume energy drinks at all. Low fat or fat-free milk is a good protein rich recovery drink for children after high energy sports.
Erika Watson-Lawson is a registered dietitian with Memorial Hospital.