What Are the Nutrients in Milk?
Would you shop at nine different stores to buy nine items on your grocery list when you could find all items at one store? Probably not. This same logic applies to milk.
Cow’s milk contains nine essential nutrients, including: protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin D that are critical to your family’s health.
Milk nutrition facts from reputable health information sources show that other beverages are not nutritionally comparable to milk. They may tout a nutrient or two, but you’d have to shop and buy multiple beverages to equal the unique nutrient package of milk. The nutrients in milk almost meet the human body’s complete nutritional requirements and are available in one convenient package. Consider cow’s milk your one-stop shop for nutrients and taste.
Flavored & Chocolate Milk Nutrition
Additionally, when it comes to children, those who drink flavored milk meet more of their nutrient needs; do not consume more added sugar, fat or calories; and are not heavier than non-milk drinkers. Children can choose from a variety of milk flavors but low-fat chocolate milk is the most popular milk choice in schools. Kids drink less milk (and get fewer nutrients) if it’s taken away. Other popular milk flavors include strawberry, vanilla and banana. Some children also enjoy unusual milk flavors, like peanut butter and orange crème.
Drinking milk also benefits active individuals, which makes it a smart choice among sports nutrition beverages. Milk contains water and electrolytes in which can help keep you hydrated. They replace what is lost in sweat during activity and in the heat, and the carbohydrates keep bodies moving.
See how milk delivers essential nutrients compared to other popular beverages. You can learn more about milk nutrition facts and how the nutrients in milk contribute to body functions.
Try these milk-tastic recipes for milk nutrition and to help you reach your three servings every day that are recommended* by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
Make It Better with Milk
Or, try these milk cooking tips. Even a small amount of milk at a time will add up at the end of the day.
- Stir up a bowl of instant or old-fashioned oatmeal or other hot cereal with milk instead of water.
- Make fluffier scrambled eggs and omelets with milk by whisking about 2 tablespoons of milk into each beaten egg.
- Skip the empty calories and add a shot of milk to your coffee instead of nondairy creamers.
Super Soups and Sides:
- Use milk instead of water when preparing canned or packaged soups for a creamier, richer soup.
- Use milk instead of water when preparing instant mashed potatoes, rice, couscous or stuffing.
Boosting Baked Goods:
- Add milk instead of water when preparing boxed muffin and quick bread mixes, pancakes and waffles.
Drink It Up:
- Heat a cup of milk in the microwave or on top of the stove and use in place of water when making instant hot cocoa and specialty coffee drinks, like cappuccino mixes.
- Enjoy a milkshake by blending fat-free milk, your favorite fruit and a few ice cubes in your blender. For extra thickness, add some yogurt or make your ice cubes with milk instead of water.
*Daily Recommendations: Three cups of low-fat and fat-free milk or equivalent milk products for those nine years of age and older and two cups of low-fat and fat-free milk or equivalent milk products for children two to eight years old.
Maximize the Life of Your Milk
Did you know milk can be safely consumed for one week after the “Sell By” date? Many people are unaware of this, and other useful storage tips that can help make the most of this nutrient-rich beverage. Learn more about maximizing the life of your dairy products and reducing food waste in our dairy food storage section.