Nutrient-Rich Foods Nourish Kids All Day « BackView PDFPrintEmail Friend
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Eating breakfast that includes nutrient-rich foods such as milk, cheese or yogurt, puts kids on track to meet recommendations made in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It also sets them up for greater achievement in school, as studies show kids who eat a morning meal have improved concentration, score higher on tests and behave better.
But including nutrient-rich foods in meals throughout the day can also boost energy levels. Healthy snacks keep kids on track and prepare them for after-school activities. And while fueling kids with the right foods before and after the school day is a priority for many families, busy schedules or tight budgets make it a challenge to ensure kids get the nutrition they need to learn at their best. Dairy foods offer a smart solution because they are nutritious, convenient and affordable.
In fact, dairy foods deliver on taste, variety and availability, making them a simple addition to breakfast and snacks. Dairy foods also deliver nine essential nutrients – including bone-building calcium and vitamin D – making dairy one of the most economical sources of nutrition.
“Milk, cheese and yogurt take center stage in our house,” says mom and Midwest Dairy Council registered dietitian, Stephanie Cundith. “While my son loves them for the taste, I love that dairy foods support his nutritional needs without breaking the bank.” To illustrate dairy’s nutritional bargain, consider that milk – white or flavored – provides a powerful nutrient package and costs about 25 cents per 8-ounce serving.
How to Fuel Your Family
To fuel your family, aim for three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy every day, the amount recommended by the dietary guidelines for ages nine and up. Also, try these breakfast and snack tips:
- Stock a “Mom-approved” bowl with grab-and-go foods in the fridge, like containers of flavored milk and yogurt, cheese sticks, ready-to-eat cereal.
- Break boredom with a breakfast and snack swap. Eat cereal with milk after school and cheese and crackers in the morning.
- When short on time, try the school breakfast program.
- Be a role model. If you don’t make healthy eating a priority, neither will your kids.
Midwest Dairy Council®, an affiliate of National Dairy Council, is the nutrition education division of Midwest Dairy Association. The Council is dedicated to dairy nutrition research and education through the investment of more than 9,500 dairy farm families across 10 Midwestern states, and is committed to child health and wellness through our collaborative program, Fuel Up to Play 60. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.
Stephanie Cundith is a registered dietitian and Nutrition Spokesperson and Communications Manager for the Midwest Dairy Council, where she provides scientific, accurate and practical information on the benefits of dairy nutrition. She conducts television, print and radio interviews across Midwest Dairy’s ten-state region and serves as a national media spokesperson for the National Dairy Council.
The perfect fun-with-food snack that kids will enjoy making as much as eating.