Quick! Name some dairy foods!
Right—stuff that comes from a cow like milk, yogurt and cheese.
Getting 3 cups of foods and drinks from the MyPyramid Milk Group every day helps you get enough calcium. You need plenty of calcium for strong bones, muscles and teeth. (You can get calcium from stuff like broccoli and calcium-fortified juices and cereals, too.) Dairy foods also give you other things you need for a healthy body like protein, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins D, A and B12, riboflavin and niacin. That's a real mouthful!
One cup from the Milk Group = 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, 1-½ ounces of "natural" cheese like Swiss or cheddar, or 2 ounces of "processed" cheese like American.
It's good to ask your parents to get the kinds of milk, yogurt and cheese that are fat-free, low-fat or reduced fat. These types are better for your heart and have fewer calories than regular versions. But they're still packed with good nutrition and great taste!
Here are 5 easy ways to get your 3-a-day of dairy:
- Get milk—in the school cafeteria, when you go for fast food or from the fridge to drink with tonight's dinner.
- Make yogurt do double duty. Pop a frozen cup or tube of yogurt into your lunch in the morning. The yogurt will keep everything cool and safe to eat—and, by lunchtime, you'll have a great-tasting treat!
- Say cheese! Try a slice of Swiss on your sandwich, a cheese stick after school or a few cubes of cheese with crackers during a study break.
- Flavor up your milk. Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla milk are yummy and have all the good nutrition of white milk.
- Plop yogurt on top of some sliced strawberries or bananas for a quick breakfast, snack or dessert.
For more delicious dairy, try these recipes:
Groovy Grape Ape Smoothie
Mmm Mmmorning Sundae