Better Together: How Dairy Foods Can Enhance Farmers Market Finds

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RD @ 9:28 AM


One of the things I like best about summer is the bounty of fresh-picked sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, plums, and berries available everywhere — especially at farmers markets. Helping people make the best use of local produce from farmers markets and enhancing it with low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, like milk, yogurt, and cheese, is what I will share today.

As you peruse the aisles of picture-perfect fruits and vegetables, if you’re like me, you will start thinking about what you can pair together to make your summer meals more interesting, delicious, and nutritious. Some things just naturally go together and complement each other: lettuce and tomatoes, strawberries and rhubarb, peaches and blueberries . . .


While some dairy foods may or may not be available at local farmers markets, they always can be paired with farmers market finds to create delicious and nutrient-rich meals and snacks. Dairy foods — that contain calcium, potassium, protein, and other essential nutrients — can be paired with fruits and vegetables that have other important nutrients, like vitamin C and fiber. Together they can be a delicious and nutritionally powerful combination, which is good information to share with your clients.

Read the rest of this entry »

Milk: An Unexpected Way to Hydrate Young Athletes

Posted by Matthew Pikosky, PhD, RD, FACN @ 1:40 PM


The month of August brings mixed emotions for parents and kids. Barbecues, lazy days by the pool, and backyard whiffle ball games will soon be fond memories. However, preseason practices for various fall sports are beginning to ramp up, and soon will lead to fun fall weekends filled with cheering kids on at football games, soccer matches and more.

Young athletes are putting in hours of work on the field to get back into shape for a successful season. Perhaps equally important as this “on-field” work is properly refueling afterward and following a well-balanced diet to help ensure they are getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy, recover from their workouts and perform at their best. This is where health and wellness professionals such as registered dietitians can help. Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast: A Whole New Experience That Can’t Be Missed

Posted by Kristin Schrieber @ 7:18 AM

Kristin Schrieber

“If breakfast were always this fun, I would eat it every morning!” said a student sitting next to me as she dunked her whole grain waffle stick into the peach yogurt dip. “It would be awesome if we had something like this on our school menu.” It was extraordinary to see so many kids (and adults) starting their day off right  at the GENYOUth Foundation Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit in Dallas by enjoying nutritious breakfast items.

“Through the learning connection, one might say that having a nutritious breakfast is just as important as having a textbook. BREAKFAST is an essential tool for successful learning.” stated Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, President of National Dairy Council. Research shows that improved nutrition, including breakfast, and increased physical activity can help students focus and behave better in the classroom, which can lead to improved academic performance.


It may be the most important meal of the day – yet less than half of the students who eat school lunch eat school breakfast. To help close that gap, National Dairy Council collaborated with dairy companies to reimagine school breakfast. School nutrition directors, students, chefs, recipe developers, registered dietitians and other health and wellness experts came together to create kid-focused, dairy-based breakfast ideas and recipes. After testing them in real situations with students, six came out as winners. Read the rest of this entry »

Summit Celebrates Health and Wellness Progress in the School Environment

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, LD, RDN @ 8:10 AM


Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Change to improve health and wellness in the school environment is happening, and it was apparent in a big way at the 2014 GENYOUth Learning Connection Summit in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

This year’s summit focused on the importance of public-private partnerships as a part of the solution to help schools implement nutrition and physical activity programs, like Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60). FUTP 60, the nation’s largest in-school wellness program, empowers students to make positive changes in their school to improve nutrition and physical activity. The amazing event brought together leaders in health and wellness, nutrition, research, academia, government, public and private sectors to leverage the current research on the association between physical activity, healthy eating, especially breakfast consumption, and academic success, and develop practical solutions to create a healthier school environment.


One thing was obvious at the summit: Youth, like the FUTP 60 Student Ambassadors, will lead us into the future! I’m inspired by and in awe of what these young leaders have accomplished by taking an active role in helping to: Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Dispel the Myth That Eating Animal Protein Causes Osteoporosis

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:03 AM


We all know the drill. Researchers propose hypotheses, then test them scientifically to determine their validity. If the hypothesis does not stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny, we expect the original hypothesis to die and never to be mentioned again. Right?  Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Often belief trumps science and the hypothesis becomes accepted as fact by the public and many in the scientific community, even when it’s not true. This appears to be the case for the acid load hypothesis of osteoporosis or that animal proteins are bad for bones.  However, a review of the evidence by a respected bone expert dispels this hypothesis as a myth.

Hypothesis: The nutritional acid load impact on osteoporosis

This hypothesis suggests that foods associated with an increased urinary acid excretion, such as animal proteins from meat and dairy foods (milk, cheese, and yogurt), are harmful to the skeleton, leading to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fragility fracture. Conversely, foods producing neutral or alkaline urine would favor bone growth and calcium balance, helping to slow bone loss and reduce fracture risk.


As pointed out in a recent review available in full text, this theory currently influences nutrition research, dietary recommendations and the marketing of alkaline salt products or medications aimed at optimizing bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It originally stemmed from classic investigations in patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases (CKD) conducted in the 1960s.

Hypothesis not proven: Review dispels theoretical link Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español

Posted by Nancy Sandbach @ 9:25 AM

Nancy Sandbach

Hello! As a new contributor to the Dairy Report, I am delighted and excited to share that the Fuel Up to Play 60 program received a generous grant from the PepsiCo Foundation. The announcement was made on July 16th at the GENYOUth Foundation’s 2014 Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. The $550,000 grant will support Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español, which is being developed specifically to address the needs of Latino students and their families, a population in which the prevalence of overweight, obesity[1] and food insecurity[2] is especially high in the U.S.  Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating the Aging Process Healthfully (Part 2)

Posted by Karen Kafer, RD @ 7:56 AM


Welcome to part two of Navigating the Aging Process Healthfully. In part one Christine Cliff, MPH, RDN, LDN highlighted the key discussion points and strategies from National Dairy Council’s Healthy Aging: Dairy Foods Can Help… Whether You Have Lactose Intolerance or Not! webinar to help your clients and family members age healthfully. This second part will focus on tips and strategies for those with lactose intolerance, which was discussed during the webinar by Dr. Mark DeLegge, a gastroenterologist, and Susan Kundrat, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics.

As we age, Dr. Mark indicated that higher  amounts of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and protein are needed.  The dairy food group (i.e., low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt) provides calcium, vitamin D and high quality protein and can help address these increased nutrient needs.

CreamyCarrotSoup_289x194One question you may have asked yourself is “What if someone is lactose intolerant?” Great news! Dr. Mark assured that lactose intolerance does not mean dairy avoidance. He stated that people who avoid dairy foods due to real or perceived lactose intolerance may miss many benefits including improved nutrient intake and improved bone health. Research shows most people with lactose malabsorption can digest up to 12 grams of lactose, which is equivalent to the amount in an 8 oz. glass of milk, with no or minor symptoms. Susan offered several practical strategies those with lactose intolerance can try so they can enjoy the nutrient and health benefits of dairy foods. Below are five solutions you can suggest to those with lactose intolerance.* Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy Students are Better Students: Both Kids and Science Agree

Posted by Kristin Schrieber @ 6:14 AM

Kristin Schrieber

“When I grow up I want to be a pilot and fly people all over the world.”

I sat awe-inspired at the GENYOUth  Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit, co-hosted by National Dairy Council, as I listened to Tyler, a 5th grader with dyslexia, speak about how he agrees with the learning connection and believes that the Fuel Up to Play 60 program will help him reach his goal.

“Being active helps my brain focus better,” he said. “If I was not able to have brain breaks with physical activity every day I don’t know if I could be here right now.”

Tyler FUTP60

Not only do kids agree with the learning connection, but science helps support it too!   Read the rest of this entry »

Making a Difference for Students at School: Child Nutrition Professionals from Across the Nation Join in Boston

Posted by Jill Read @ 7:46 AM


This summer, 6,500 school nutrition professionals gathered in Boston, Mass., for School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Annual National Conference, and the event left the crowd energized for the upcoming school year.

New England Dairy & Food Council and School Nutrition Association of Massachusetts (SNA of MA) were thrilled to have ANC in their home state and joined together with National Dairy Council (NDC) and others to help highlight the important role school meals play in the health and well-being of school children across the nation.

The ANC theme, “Making History in Boston,” was relevant in more ways than one. Not only does Boston have a rich cultural history, it has been a leader in child nutrition and education for decades. For example, did you know that Boston was home to America’s first public schools and first school lunch program?   Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating the Aging Process Healthfully (Part 1)

Posted by Christine Cliff @ 7:07 AM


It’s inevitable… we will all get older. The question is — how well do we want to age?  Some may choose to continue down the path of eating richly and remaining sedentary. Others may choose to blaze healthier paths — eating nutritiously and getting active. This topic is dear to me given that my parents are aging and grandparents’ health is declining. Being a health professional and natural worrier, I am concerned my loved ones may develop osteoporosis, fall and break a hip or even lose the desire to eat. All of these are valid concerns, since, according to our webinar experts, the aging population may be at a higher risk of these conditions.

Dr. Mark DeLegge, a gastroenterologist, and Susan Kundrat, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics, teamed up  on a recent National Dairy Council ® webinar- “Healthy Aging: Dairy Foods Can Help… Whether You Have Lactose Intolerance or Not!,” which helped to address my concerns and provided me feasible and effective solutions. This blog post highlights key discussion points and strategies from the webinar you can use to help your clients and family members age healthfully.  Read the rest of this entry »