All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Most Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group. Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.
Some commonly eaten choices in the Dairy Group are:
- Milk All fluid milk counts, but it is best if it is fat free (skim) or low fat 1%). See Jamie Oliver's argument for avoiding flavored milk. He claims that if you drink flavored milk everyday at school, you consume nearly 2 gallons of sugar each school year. WOW!
- Milk based desserts such as puddings, ice milk, frozen yogurt and ice cream fall in this group. Again, look for low fat, low sugar options.
- Calcium-fortified soymilk or Lactose Free milk also contain calcium and are great option for lactose intolerance or strict vegetarians/vegans.
- Cheese such as hard natural cheeses including cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, or Parmesan; soft cheeses including ricotta, cottage cheese; or processed cheeses including American.
- All Yogurts
Did you know that you can substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in most recipes? In baking, it works best if you strain the yogurt in cheese cloth for 1-4 hrs prior to using. However, I often skip this step and reduce the liquid I add (I am not so patient!). Recently, I reworked the Camp Berry Muffin Cake recipe to omit the fat and sour cream. I replaced fat with applesauce and of course the sour cream with Greek yogurt. It was still delicious. So, here is your challenge - find your favorite muffin recipe and see if you can replace any of the items with healthier options. Love ice cream, start substituting frozen yogurt. My kids love Gogurts frozen.