GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — "Milk does the body good," isn't just an old saying. Millions of Americans are at risk for developing osteoporosis, especially women and children who are still growing bone mass.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 3 servings of dairy per day to provide essential nutrients for bone building, including protein, calcium and vitamin D. Milk products also play an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure, as they contain potassium and magnesium. Other health benefits include reduced risk of diabetes and healthier weight. 

Increased consumption of milk reduces consumption of beverages that may be providing high sugar or caffeine, or lack nutritional value. Chocolate milk has even been shown in studies to be a great choice for recovery after workouts. There are many dairy options for naturally lactose-free or low-lactose dairy products, including Greek yogurt, kefir, aged hard cheeses, ultra-filtrated cow's milk or quark (German soft cheese).

Mercy Health Registered Dietitian Sara Nychypor shares some healthy dairy recipes to increase your dairy intake. This is crucial for bone health and may play an important role in weight management for the new year. 

Quark Chocolate Mousse

12oz quark
1 cup chocolate chips- dark or semisweet
¼ tsp cinnamon

Melt chocolate chips in microwave at 30% power for 30 seconds, then stir and repeat as needed. Beat quark with mixer until fluffy, then whisk in melted chocolate. Chill and serve with fresh berries. 

Berry Smoothie Bowl

¾ cup milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 frozen banana
1 T. peanut butter (optional)

Blend all ingredients in blender and serve with your choice of healthy, tasty options like granola, banana slices, toasted coconut, almonds

Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl

¾ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
5 ice cubes
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

Blend all ingredients in blender and top with items like apples, pecans and chia seeds.

Green Smoothie Bowl

¾ cup milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 cups spinach
½ ripe avocado
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 T. flax seeds

Blend all ingredients in blender and serve with toppings like granola, chia seeds, toasted coconut, fresh berries. 

Information and recipes courtesy of Sara Nychypor, RDN.



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