Dairy Does More

Ellie Wilson

MS, RDN, CDN, Manager, Lifestyles and Wellnes

June is Dairy Month! At Price Chopper and Market 32, we celebrate the many ways dairy foods bring flavor and fun to our favorite foods, and essential nutrients to cup and plate to help us grow and thrive. Dairy farmers and processors throughout the states we serve work so hard to bring delicious, sustainable and economically important dairy foods to our stores and communities – we are glad to partner with them for PICS products and community food and nutrition security programs.

So, what is so good about dairy? Begin at the beginning – with milk! Milk provides 13 essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin D (in fortified products), riboflavin, vitamin B12, protein, potassium, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin, iodine and selenium.  The term “essential” has a specific meaning when we talk about nutrition – it means we need to get these nutrients from foods. Our bodies can make some nutrients, like Vitamin D is made in skin when exposed to sunshine, but not quite enough to meet health needs – that is part of why Vitamin D is fortified in dairy products. Adults and children in America are not getting enough dairy, fruits or vegetables, calcium, potassium, Vitamin D or fiber – just one or two more servings of milk per day can close some nutrient gaps and support overall better nutrition. Check out the 2020 Advisory Committee Report.

Dairy foods are so diverse, and ongoing research shows that diversity may be key when it comes to how dairy components and nutrients impact health. The April 2021 Tufts Nutrition Newsletter highlighted some of the research showing how different dairy foods deliver benefits. Bottom line?  Focus on low-fat and fat-free dairy to manage saturated fat, and power-pair appetizing low-fat dairy foods with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes to energize eating well. Check out these dairy + plant power-pair ideas for some inspiration!

Dairy farmers, like grocery store workers, have been essential to ensuring fresh milk and dairy foods have been available to shoppers and food insecurity programs throughout the country during this challenging year. Shoppers can partner with Price Chopper and Market 32 to support ongoing efforts in New York and Pennsylvania to be sure families have better access to milk and other nutritious foods by rounding up change at the register during May and June to “Fill a Glass with Hope and a Plate with Promise”. Milk is the most requested item at food pantries and the least donated – each $5 donated equals ½ gallon of milk, or eight glasses of milk! The need has never been greater, it is a great investment in community health. Make June your month to power up delicious dairy and reap the benefits!

Fresh cherries and yogurt – Yum! Chilled Cherry Dessert

Peaches are in season – Brown Sugar Peach Parfait

Great grilling! Grilled Fruit Pizza

Shop Dairy!

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