June Dairy Month is an annual event that began in 1937. It initially began as an event to promote milk and help stabilize the demand for dairy products since cows were put out to pasture in the summer and this resulted in peak production during the summer months.
It has since developed into a campaign to promote milk and dairy products and to highlight the important nutritional benefits we get from dairy products.
With June and summer just around the corner, here are five good reasons to include dairy foods in your diet:
- Dairy foods are a powerhouse of nutrients. Milk, cheese and yogurt provide a unique package of essential nutrients which can include calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin and niacin.
- Dairy foods are a good source of protein. Protein foods help us feel fuller longer, keep our muscles and tissues in good repair and working order and regulate our metabolism as we get older.
- Dairy foods are cost effective and convenient. Milk provides 8 grams of high quality protein in a 1 cup serving. In comparison to many other protein-containing foods, it is a bargain! Cheese and yogurt are portable protein snacks, making them easy to pack in lunches for a quick and healthy pick-me-up.
- Dairy foods are nutrient dense. To absorb the same amount of calcium as you would get from 1 cup of milk, you would have to eat either: 10 cups of raw spinach, 6 servings of pinto beans or 3 cups of cooked broccoli.
- Dairy foods taste great. There are a wide variety of dairy products to choose from that can satisfy most anyone’s taste preferences. There are flavored milks and numerous varieties and flavors of yogurt, cheese, ice milk and ice cream. You can eat them as is, in a refreshing smoothie or shake, as a light dessert or layered with fruit or granola.
June Dairy Month is about celebrating a product that is fresh, healthful and tasty. Those might be reasons enough to celebrate it in June, but we can really strive to incorporate dairy products in our diets all throughout the year.