Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer Fun and Eating the Dairy Way!

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Spring Break may have given you a taste of summer….not weather wise, but how to keep the little ones occupied when school is out!  Summer camps are fun, exciting and encourage children to hydrate and eat on regular schedules…but what about when kids are just ‘messing around’ in their own neighborhoods, are they making the right choices.  Here are few ways to be sure you can keep the kids hydrated, making good nutrition choices and those choices! 

  • Pack a picnic for them- not in a lunch box- (that is too much like school) but a neat old box, a basket, something creative that will hold a variety of foods.  Pack cheese sticks, lunch and go boxes, fruit that travels well and veggie sticks.Your little ones can go off for the day and still have lots of options for snacking until they return with their stories of adventure!
  • Who does not love a lemonade stand? What about a smoothie stand instead?! This does need a bit more adult supervision, but well worth the outcome to be sure your neighborhood is getting their 3 servings of dairy a day!  This would be the perfect time to develop your smoothie making skills for a possible contest coming to the State Fair in August?  Milk, yogurt, fruit, ice along with a few cups and a blender! 
  • Rainy days can be extra challenging!  Grilled cheese cut into the best shape contest!  Have the kids make their own sandwiches and have a variety of cookie cutters on the table, cut their sandwiches into the selected shape and grill.  What to do with the leftovers?  Cut into cubes (bread and all), grill, skewer with veggies- these are sure to be a hit!
  • Personal Pan Pizzas- English muffins, tortilla, and pita bread- any and all make a great base for quick and easy snacks or dinner pizzas.  Cover the table with a disposable cloth, arrange the sauce, cheese, vegetable toppings, turkey pepperoni, pineapple, mandarin oranges and let the kids go crazy with their own artist flair!  Top with cheese, bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes and a creation Monet would cherish!
  •  Dips for Dunks-   Enjoy calcium one other way!  Make dips for dunking!   Using yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream.  Use some your favorite seasonings or a dip/salad dressing mix to blend into a container of Greek yogurt.  Leave bags of cut up veggies in the refrigerator so the little ones can make their own decision and a measuring cup on the counter as a scoop!
Summer time is a great time to add nutrition, calcium and hydration from Milk and other great tasting dairy products in a variety of ways.  Be sure your kids are getting their 3-Every-day of Dairy.

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