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For Your Information - Dairy Makes Every Day A Celebration

POSTED June 8, 2011 1:28 a.m.
June is a month of celebrations – from Father’s Day and graduations, to weddings and, of course, the first day of summer. It is appropriate, then, that we also take June to celebrate a food that is such an important part of our daily lives and an essential ingredient in these occasions – dairy.
Whether whole, 2 percent, 1 percent or fat-free, milk’s nine essential nutrients — including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin — are important for good health. And, it’s hard to find a more diverse food than dairy. It comes in many forms, from liquid (fluid milk) to solid (cheese), even frozen (ice cream), all of them delicious additions to a balanced diet.
Best of all, dairy is a perfect fit for today’s busy lifestyles. It is easy for consumers to get the recommended three servings each day:
• Start the day right: Milk’s calcium and protein punch are a healthy way to start the day. Pour a cup of milk over cereal or oatmeal, drizzle honey on yogurt or add chopped up fruit and nuts to a scoop of cottage cheese.
• On the go snacking: Cheese and drinkable yogurt are handy, portable snacks at the desk, in the car or on the soccer sidelines.
• Light lunches: From sandwiches and creamy soups to flavor-packed salad dressing and toppings, milk, yogurt and cheese are key ingredients to satisfying meals that can help maintain a healthy weight.
• Post-workout replenishment: Recent studies have found milk to be as effective as some sports drinks in helping the body refuel, recover and rehydrate after exercise.
• Family dinners: Dairy foods like milk, yogurt and cheese are staples that make meal planning easy. The same yogurt used for breakfast can create a tangy dressing for steamed vegetables; cream cheese tops more than a bagel, it makes an elegant sauce for chicken, fish or pasta; and milk is for more than drinking – it can be used to braise meat or poach fish, develop a light soup and create a sweet, cold popsicle treat that kids will love.
Californians have another reason to celebrate dairy month in June and every day. The state is the number one milk producer in the U.S. and produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and milk powder than any other state. We’re also the second largest cheese producer in the nation.
Dairy products made with Real California milk can be identified by looking for the Real California Milk and Real California Cheese seals, which certify that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family-owned. California’s dairy families are part of the community and proud to create a nutritious product for consumers to enjoy.
So, this month grill up a juicy cheeseburger for Father’s Day, enjoy a slice of buttery wedding cake and savor that first scoop of summer ice cream. Visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com where you can meet California dairy families, view recipe inspirations, including a “30 Days of Dairy” calendar, and even download a smart phone APP for pairing Real California Cheese with wine, beer or chocolate. It’s dairy month – let’s celebrate!

Jennifer Giambroni is the Director of Communications for the California Milk Advisory Board.

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