Finish a Meal with a Glass of Milk

Today’s blog is going to explore the last of the four food groups, the Milk and Alternatives food group, in more detail.

From my last blog: “Milk and Alternatives are the portion of Canada’s Food Guide that provide us with important bone-building calcium, protein and vitamin D.”

Why is this food group so important? Milk and Alternatives provide nutrients such as protein, calcium and vitamin D that are good for your bones and optimal health. Milk and Alternatives can be added to meals and snacks.

One food guide serving of Milk and Alternatives is:
• 1 cup of milk or fortified soy beverage
• 3/4 cup of yogurt
• 1 1/2 oz of cheese

As far as what is recommended when it comes to this food group:
• Drink skim, 1% or 2% milk each day.
• Choose lower fat milk alternatives (block cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella or swiss, cottage cheese, fortified soy beverage, kefir, paneer, pudding or custard made with milk, plain and flavored yogurt and yogurt drinks).

Lower fat is best! When choosing milk, skim, 1% and 2% milk are the lower fat options. If choosing a plant-based beverage instead of cow’s milk, such as soy, choose one that is unsweetened. For milk alternatives, choose yogurt with 2% milk fat (M.F.) or less and that are lower in calories and sugar. Choose lower fat cheeses with with less than 20% milk fat (M.F.). Limit cream cheese, ice cream, coffee cream, whipping cream, and sour cream. These foods are high in fat and calories.

Here are some tips to include healthier Meat and Alternatives into your day:
Milk. Use lower fat milk or fortified soy beverages when making casseroles, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, smoothies and soups. You can also use skim milk powder as an alternative to milk.
Yogurt. Use lower fat yogurt as a dip for fruit or mixed with fruit and cereal.
Cheese. Use lower fat cheese such as reduced fat mozzarella, cottage or ricotta cheese in burritos, casseroles, lasagnas, quesadillas, pasta dishes, pizza, salads, sandwiches, tacos and wraps.

Whatever options you decide to include from the Milk and Alternatives food group, make sure they are lower in fat and calories.

Now that we finished up with the four food groups, I am going to tackle the major nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the coming weeks. If you have certain questions about any of these topics, please send them my way and I’ll include them in my blogs.

If you have any nutrition topics you would like me to write about or have a question you would like answered, email me at [email protected]. I would really like to hear from you!