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When it comes to feeding my picky kids, I need all the help I can get to give them something nutritious. My kids are no different than most-they love potato chips and suckers and it can be a fight to get them to eat their veggies. Thankfully, there is one thing I’ve found that gives them nutrition they need throughout the day-milk! That’s why I’m so excited to have teamed up with MilkLife.com for The National Milk Life Campaign’s Back-to-School program!
We have all heard how milk helps build strong bones and teeth but it’s even better than that. When it comes to beverages, milk is the superhero of them all with 9 needed nutrients including 3 of the 4 that kids are lacking in their diets today-Calcium, Vitamin D, and Potassium. Milk also provides B vitamins for energy, high quality protein (8 grams per 8 ounce glass!), Vitamin A for a healthy Immune system, and five bone-building nutrients.
My boys are insanely active. I had no idea when I became a Mom to boys how busy and physical they are. My oldest especially is a busy guy, always climbing, jumping, running, and tumbling around. His favorite part of the day in school is recess (surprise, surprise), and I often worry about getting the kids they nutrition they need, especially so they can keep up on all that energy. That’s why I figured out how to incorporate milk into their diet. It’s much easier than I thought it would be too!
For breakfast, it can be a battle to get my 6 year old to eat. Our toddler is a champ but our oldest is not a morning person. Thankfully, I’ve found some things that work. My family has always been a fan of my homemade pancakes. They take just a few minutes more than a mix and incorporate great ingredients, including milk, and taste like they came from a restaurant. We eat them with a tall glass of milk. For the mornings that we don’t have time, I whip up an easy chocolate banana milkshake, but for the fall, I’ve mixed it up and thrown in some pumpkin! It’s great for eating on the way to school and fills up their tummies with nutrients they need.
PUMPKIN BANANA CHOCOLATE SHAKE
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup greek yogurt
2 cups of milk
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Mix it all together and enjoy. You can also mix them up the night before.
For lunch, we keep it pretty simple. Both of my kids are home from kindergarten and preschool by then and are usually starving. We love sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. My kids really aren’t picky when it comes to lunch because we keep it really simple and chill. I always like to include string cheese, yogurt, and a glass of chocolate milk. When it comes to flavored milk, studies show that children who drink flavored milk do not consume more added sugar in their diets, but that they do drink more milk overall and meet more of their nutrient needs. Plus, flavored milk “counts” as a serving of dairy and provides the same nine essential nutrients as white milk. My personal favorite thing to do is to take a glass of milk and put in some chocolate syrup. I like doing this because I can control how chocolately I make the milk. It goes especially well with a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread. Yum!
For a little treat in the afternoon, we love to bake cookies together. Their favorite part of helping is cracking the eggs and then sneaking bits of of the batter. Our favorite cookies to make are our family’s special recipe for Lemon Cookies. They are so good and light and pair perfectly with a glass of milk. Of course if we don’t have time to make them, we fall back on good old peanut butter cookies.
DAY FAMILY FAVORITE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
- 5 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Mix flour, soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Cream together butter and sugars, shortening, eggs, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Stir in peanut butter. Ad flour mixture and stir until blended. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Using a fork dipped in flour, flatten each cookie slightly with a crisscross pattern. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden around edges. Do not overbake.
Dinnertime can be a little tricky. By this point in the day, my kids are getting tired and we are nearing bedtime. This really affects my toddler. We consider it a win if he eats just a few bites of his meal! Thankfully, this is normal but it’s also the reason I try to carefully monitor what he does eat. If I can get some fruits, veggies, and milk into him, it’s been a good day. And we have occasionally caved and let the kids have a bowl of cereal. Why? Because I know that they are getting that ever important serving of milk. Basically, I’ve learned to just roll with things. But I know if my kids are getting in their milk, they have what they need to keep growing strong and maintain their energy.
So now that you’ve taken a peak into our day, how do you include milk throughout the day in your meals and snacks? Leave a comment below and win a month’s worth of milk for your family! Two winners will be chosen November 1, 2015 by 10pm MST. Winners will be given a gift certificate valued at $18.