Milk Alternatives

People may not drink milk because they have an allergy, lactose intolerant, or just do not like the taste of it. However, milk is our body’s main source of calcium, which is needed to make strong bones and teeth. If you or a family member aren’t drinking milk, don’t worry, as there are several other ways to get the calcium your body needs.
I personally do not like the taste of milk and found myself searching for ways to meet my calcium needs. I starting looking for smoothie recipes that were made with yogurt, as one cup of yogurt is the equivalent in calcium to one cup of milk. I began making a different smoothie every day for breakfast. To assure I was also getting enough fruits and vegetables, I began adding these to my smoothies. Bananas, berries, peaches, spinach, and kale are among some of my favorites. I love having my breakfast in one container and eating at least three of the five food groups daily just for breakfast.
Lunch was a bit more of a challenge, since I did ‘t want to eat a sandwich with added cheese on a daily basis. Finding that broccoli, collards and greens are good sources of calcium, I began adding these to my salads and side dishes. When it was dinner time, I would add some of these vegetables to soups, stews, and casseroles, as well as eat as side dishes or in salad. I found that not only was I getting the calcium my body needed, but that I was enjoying the new and healthy way I was eating. Of course, my family reaped these benefits too.
When you now go to the grocery store, you can find soy, almond, and coconut milks that contain calcium but not lactose. These beverages are very tasty and come in different flavors too. You will find that having a lactose intolerance or allergy doesn’t have to hurt your calcium consumption. There are many ways to keep your bones and teeth strong.

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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