Calci Yumm How to Eat More

Need more calcium in your food choices? Give your meal and snack choices a calcium boost.

  • Make it a habit! Eat 3 cups or an equivalent of foods from the Milk Group each day. Include 8 ounces of fruit yogurt with breakfast and a refreshing cup of milk for lunch or dinner. Three cups of milk, regardless of whether it's whole, fat-free, or flavored, supply about 900 milligrams of calcium.
  • Reach for milk—during your "coffee break." If there's no place to buy a carton of milk, bring it from home. Refrigerate milk for a day at work in a small water bottle. Some experts say that just choosing milk at snacktime could make a big impact toward reducing the risk for osteoporosis.
  • Give other dairy drinks a try: buttermilk, drinkable yogurt, kefir, even goat milk. In fact, 8 ounces of buttermilk delivers 235 milligrams of calcium, for just 200 calories and 2 fat grams.
  • For the "new taste" of milk, try flavored milk— blueberry, banana, peanut butter—or yogurt-fruit drinks. Or make your own fruity drinks by blending milk or yogurt with fruit and ice in a blender.
  • Enjoy snacks as calcium sources: frozen yogurt, cheese with crackers, plain yogurt, pudding, milk, or calcium-fortified juice. For a calcium-rich, low-fat dip or cracker spread, see "Kitchen Nutrition: Yogurt Cheese" in chapter 3.
  • At a coffee bar, order latte (steamed milk with espresso coffee) or cappuccino. Lower the calories by asking for fat-free milk. For more flavor, sprinkle on cinnamon or nutmeg. Does caffeine interfere with calcium absorption? The effect is very small and easily offset by consuming the amount of steamed milk typically added to latte or cappuccino.
  • Lighten up with milk. Add milk to your coffee or tea (milk tea), rather than drinking it black. Milk has more calcium than powdered nondairy creamer.
  • Choose vegetables and fruits with more calcium: dark-green leafy greens such as kale and mustard, col-lard, and turnip greens; broccoli, dried beans, and bok choy are good sources. Other nondairy options include dried figs and calcium-fortified fruit juices.
  • Drink calcium-fortified soy beverage (from the carton or blended in smoothies), and use it in cooking, especially if you choose to avoid milk.
  • Say "cheese" when you make or order sandwiches.
  • Choose canned fish with edible bones: salmon, sardines, and anchovies. Mix salmon in salads, casseroles, pasta dishes, salmon cakes, and other mixed dishes.
  • Add tofu (soybean curd) made with calcium to salads, casseroles, chili, stir-fries, smoothies, and other dishes.
  • Boost the calcium in your food preparation. Make soups, chowders, and hot cereal with milk. Top salads, soups, and stews with shredded cheese. Mix dry milk powder into meat loaf and casseroles. Make vegetable dips with plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, or cottage cheese. Add bok choy, broccoli, or kale to soups, casseroles, and other mixed dishes. For more
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Green Smoothies

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