School Nutrition

Starting the Day on the Right Foot with Breakfast

Starting the Day on the Right Foot with Breakfast

By Ashley Sears, Esquire, Sponsored Moo Squad athlete Call me crazy, but nothing beats a wholesome, healthy breakfast to start the day.  I like to think of sleep as my time travel to breakfast, and without a solid breakfast, hanger is a real life emotion for me.  My family and friends know that I used to be a “leftovers for breakfast” kind of kid.  It wasn’t unusual to see shepherd’s pie or spaghetti on my plate in the morning before school (not the healthiest options, I know). In high school, I started changing my eating habits and having eggs, toast, and jam. In college, my eating habits were somewhat less disciplined and I would often have sugary cereal or a granola bar. Once I got to law school and realized how important a complete breakfast was to stay focused through late night classes and studying, I took the time to meal prep and have breakfast ready for class the next morning. Overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, and smoothies became my go-to meals. Not only did this benefit me in the classroom, it contributed to my running and overall health. This week, March 6-10, marks National School Breakfast Week. Additionally, throughout the month of March, we recognize and celebrate National Nutrition Month.  This provides an opportunity to talk about healthy lifestyle choices, recipes that taste good and are good for you, and how we can eat well while still leading hectic and busy lives. The National School Breakfast Week program was founded in 1989 through the collaborative efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the School Nutrition Association. The program provides over 13 million breakfast meals to school-aged children, regardless of economic background, helping students to be alert and productive during the school day. This year’s theme for National School Breakfast Week is “Take the School Breakfast Challenge,” which encourages students, parents, and teachers to start their morning with a healthy breakfast. Often short on time and trying to complete a million tasks before the school day starts, taking time the night before to prepare breakfast is a great option to save time and ensure that you aren’t skipping breakfast the next day.  Incorporating dairy products into breakfast is also a surefire way to get the necessary protein, calcium, and vitamins you need to stay focused, energized, and full until lunch. Here are a few of my favorite breakfast recipes, that can be made ahead of time and provide a bounty of protein, vitamins, and flavor! Wild Blueberry Smoothie: ½ cup milk 1 scoop vanilla protein powder ½ cup vanilla or plain yogurt ½ cup frozen wild blueberries 1 tsp. cinnamon Handful of ice cubes Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender.  Blend until desired consistency.  Place in freezer overnight and let thaw in morning.  Enjoy on your way to work or school. Maple Overnight Oats: ½ cup steel cut oats ½ cup milk ½ scoop vanilla protein powder 1 T pure maple syrup ½ cup chopped apples 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. nutmeg 1 T chopped walnuts or almonds Bring oats and milk to a boil on the stove.  Stir in protein powder, maple syrup, spices, and chopped apples.  Place in a Ball Mason jar or microwave safe container and sprinkle nuts on top.  Store in fridge and reheat in microwave for one minute in the morning. Patriotic Parfait: ¾ cup vanilla or plain yogurt ¼ cup blueberries ¼ cup diced strawberries ¼ cup raspberries ¼ cup granola of choice (I love GrandyOats Wild Blueberry granola; check for sugar amounts on granola, as some can contain a...

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2016 Summer Meals Cooler Grant Application

2016 Summer Meals Cooler Grant Application

The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council recognizes the importance of a healthy, nutritious summer meals program to the health of Maine children. Summer meals provide the nutritional bridge between the end of one school year and the beginning of a new school year. The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council is committed to helping schools increase participation in their summer meals programs so students return to school in the fall, healthy and ready to learn. The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council also knows kids will drink more milk if it’s displayed attractively and served icy cold. To help schools do both during the summer and school year, Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council will award up to three, Fuel Up to Play 60 soft-sided insulated coolers and accompanying ice packs to twenty (20) Maine school districts participating in the USDA Summer Meals Program. Each brightly colored, soft-sided, insulated cooler holds one standard milk crate. Interested school nutrition directors are asked to complete the application (link below) and return it to the address below by April 29, 2016. Preference will be given to schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 and school nutrition directors who are signed up as Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors. To see whether your school is enrolled and to sign up as a Program Advisor, visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact: Katie Hoffmann Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council 333 Cony Road Augusta, ME 04330 Catherine@drinkmainemilk.org 207-287-3621 207-287-7161(fax) 2016 Summer Meals Cooler Grant...

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Meat Alternate and Fruit- Meal Component Smoothies

Smoothies with names like Banana Split, Orangeroo, Tropical Delight, Apple of Your Eye, Strawberry Peach and Yo Yo Yum will surely be a hit with your students. Smoothie Recipes_HACCP

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School Breakfast Recipes

School Breakfast Recipes

Peaches ‘n’ Cream Waffle Dunkers, Blueberry Delight, Fiesta Breakfast Swirls  … delicious recipes from the National Dairy Council that will make students excited about school breakfast! Foodservice Recipe – Blueberry Delight with HACCP Foodservice Recipe – Breakfast Basket with HACCP Foodservice Recipe – Double Cheese-Fiesta Swirl with HACCP Foodservice Recipe – Fruity Flatbread, Sunny Start with HACCP Foodservice Recipe – Mega Cheese Muffin with HACCP Foodservice Recipe – Peaches Waffle Dunkers with HACCP...

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Refuel with Chocolate Milk

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Flavored Milk: An Important Nutrient-Rich Choice

Flavored Milk: An Important Nutrient-Rich Choice

Flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium – nutrients of concern of which many kids fail to get enough. On average, by the time they are 4 years old, children fall below the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended dairy intake. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, meeting dairy recommendations can have lifelong health benefits, such as improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents. Current evidence shows intake of milk products, like milk, cheese and yogurt, is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and with lower blood pressure in adults. Flavored milk is a delicious way to help people of all ages consume essential vitamins and nutrients important for health. While there are some added sugars, flavored milk drinkers don’t have higher intakes of added sugars or total fats than children who do not consume flavored milk. And, they have higher intakes of calcium. Furthermore, the DGA recognize that small amounts of sugar added to nutrient-dense foods, such as reduced-fat milk products, may increase a person’s intake of such foods by enhancing palatability of these products, thus improving nutrient intake without contributing excessive calories. Flavored Milk Informational Materials: Pediatricians Talk About Flavored Milk Why Are Schools Serving Flavored Milk? – Download this Information Sheet (PDF) Flavored Milk The Facts Infographic 2011 – Download this Information Sheet (PDF) Flavored Milk Advertorial – Download this Information Sheet (PDF) Chocolate Milk Tasty Nutrition Customizable Ad – Download this Information Sheet (PDF) The Impact on Student Milk Consumption and Nutrient Intakes From Eliminating Flavored Milk in Schools – Download this Information Sheet (PDF)   Flavored Milk: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers What is flavored milk?  Flavored milk is cow’s milk with added flavoring and sweetener. It provides the same 9 essential nutrients – calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents) – found in white milk. It’s available in flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors in low-fat and fat-free varieties. Does the added sugar in flavored milk detract from its nutritional benefits? The opposite is true. Adding some sugar may help improve the appeal of nutritious foods. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognizes that a small amount of added sugars can be used to increase the palatability of nutrient-dense foods, such as fat-free chocolate milk. According to the American Heart Association, “when sugars are added to otherwise nutrient-rich foods, such as sugar-sweetened dairy products like flavored milk and yogurt and sugar-sweetened cereals, the quality of children’s and adolescents’ diets improves, and in the case of flavored milks, no adverse effects on weight status were found.” The American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other groups agree that flavored milk is a positive trade-off for soft drinks, which are the primary source of added sugars in children’s diets. What is the dairy industry doing to reduce sugars in flavored milk? Although flavored milk contributes only 3 percent of the added sugars in children’s diets on average and provides the same nine essential nutrients as white milk, the dairy industry has been proactively working to improve flavored milk. Since 2006, the U.S. dairy industry has reduced added sugars by about 38 percent in the flavored milk offered in schools. Today, the majority of milk in schools is low-fat or fat-free, and the majority of flavored milk is at or below 150 calories, with an average of 134 – just 31 more calories than white milk. And, because choice is so important, there are versions of flavored milk in the marketplace with...

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