Milk is often referred to as a complete food and is one of our most widely used ingredients.
The Milk Group
The Milk Group includes yogurt and cheese plus milk based desserts such as ice cream, frozen yogurt and pudding made with milk.
Milk, cheese and yogurt provide essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein.
These nutrients help build and maintain bone mass and may reduce risk for the bone-thinning disease, osteoporosis. Potassium also helps regulate the body’s fluid balance and maintain healthy blood pressure.
The main milks that we consume are cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk. Nowadays we have the option of using “milks” that are non-dairy such as soya, rice and oat milks. Skim milk contains only half the calories of full fat milk but is nutritionally much the same. Coconut milk is made using regular milk. To make your own coconut milk, take 1 cup non fat milk, 1 cup water and 1 cup grated, unsweetened coconut and combine in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 3 minutes at medium heat. Let cool, then strain through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the coconut.
Note: Choosing fat free or low fat milk can lower your calories and still provide nutrients.
Make it Quick
These tips can help you get your Milk Group foods – fast.
- Order a latte made with fat-free or low fat milk.
- Make oatmeal or tomato soup with milk instead of water.
- Stock up on cheese sticks, reduced or non-fat yogurt cups and yogurt drinks for calcium-rich snacks.
- Top fruit with your favorite yogurt for a homemade parfait dessert.
Smart Calorie Choices
Consider these tips to get the most nutrition for the fewest calories from the Milk Group.
- Always choose fat-free or low fat milk products.
- Use the Nutrition Labels to compare the amount of calories and fat in different types of Milk Group foods.
- If your family usually drinks whole milk, adjust by stepping down to reduced-fat (2%), then low fat (1%) and finally fat-free milk.
- Use evaporated fat-free milk in coffee and to replace cream in recipes.
- For a sweet treat, try lighter ice cream or frozen yogurt.
For many different ways to incorporate more milk into your diet easily and conveniently, see Easy Ways to Drink Your Milk.
Did You Know?
Studies showed that those who drank a glass of fat free milk before lunch experienced decreased appetite and calorie intake compared to those who drank fruit juice.
Bites From History
- In 1919, milk was 15 cents a quart.
- After prohibition in 1933, milk was 10 cents a quart.