Tag Archives: milk

What Will the School Lunch of the Future Look Like?

Quinoa, kale, Brussels sprouts, tamales, green smoothies. These are all foods you might find in a trendy restaurant … or on a lunch tray in your local school cafeteria.

School lunches are fast overcoming their stereotypical reputation as bland and uninspired through some creativity and innovation by school nutrition professionals. On this National School Lunch Week, let’s take a look toward the future.

If you’ve ever tried to concentrate on something when you’re really hungry, you’ll understand that students don’t perform at their best without a nutritious lunch, which they won’t eat unless it tastes good. Schools are committed to providing great food in their cafeterias, and it can be challenging to be innovative when there are so many considerations, including:

• Making it tasty for a wide range of food preferences
• Making it easy to eat in a short period of time
• Cost and budgetary concerns
• Regulations and nutrition standards
• Allergies and dietary restrictions
• Sourcing and availability
• Food safety, storage and logistics
• Limiting food waste

Schools and school districts may operate differently, yet they share the common goal of providing meals their students actually want and will eat. These meals fuel students with the needed nutrients to grow and think. Improving menus can take some creativity, and that’s why culinary training events have proven so popular over the past nine years in Oregon.

Jessica Visinsky, a Registered Dietitian and trained chef, travels the state to teach child nutrition professionals about new recipes, knife skills, menu requirements and strategies to promote healthy eating. The trainings are sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs, and are offered at no cost to the schools.

As a result, school nutrition professionals are preparing more scratch recipes, often from the Oregon State University Food Hero program. Check out Food Hero for recipes that can be made at home and with kids. Students have responded positively. Many also explore farm to school opportunities to include seasonal fruits, vegetables and other local foods year-round.

The school lunch of the future will likely include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Some are taking a serious look at plant-based diets and some are looking at local, sustainably sourced center-of-the-plate proteins such as seafood and beef. These are all complemented well by the nutrition provided in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Restrictions will continue for sodium, sugar and unhealthy fat, driven by science and recommendations from USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

You don’t have to gaze into a crystal ball to see the future of school lunches is looking bright. On this National School Lunch Week, we salute all of those who work so hard to put nutritious and delicious foods on our students’ trays. Thank you!

 

Home recipes of photos shown above … and more.

RELATED LINKS

Girl Scouts Earn Dairy Patch at TMK Creamery

Photos by Joy Foster

For the second year in a row, Girl Scouts from Oregon and SW Washington gathered for a day of fun and education as they earned their dairy patch. And for many of the Girl Scouts, this was the first time they had ever visited a farm or seen a cow up close.

The Oregon Dairy Patch curriculum was designed by the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington, Tillamook County Creamery Association, and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. With a focus on hands-on learning, it encourages Girl Scouts to visit a dairy farm, discover how milk is transformed into dairy products, explore dairy nutrition, and learn about careers in the dairy industry.

On September 29, TMK Dairy and Creamery invited the Girl Scouts to earn the dairy patch at a special “Dairy Day” event. Through four different station experiences on their farm, 100 eager Girl Scouts and their families had the opportunity to learn about dairy products from start to finish.

TMK Creamery is a small family farm that began 30 years ago when the owner Todd Koch purchased his first Holstein cow. “It all started with a 4-H project that went too far,” he says. In 1997, the milking herd had grown, so the Koch family built TMK Dairy, and in 2018 they opened a creamery where Koch’s sister Shauna and brother-in-law Bert Garza began making farmstead cheeses.

The Koch family is passionate about agriculture education and have designed their farm and creamery accordingly. Interested parties can schedule tours of the farm, or visit on Saturdays when the farm and creamery is open to the public.

For the Dairy Day event, the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, in partnership with Oregon Aglink, Oregon State University Extension, Oregon Dairy Women and TMK designed the stations to follow the Girl Scouts Dairy Patch Curriculum.

At the first station, TMK’s herdsman Marc Koch taught the Girl Scouts about the milking process. They watched a cow be milked, and even had the opportunity to milk a cow by hand. At this station they also had the opportunity to see calves and learn that they are fed with bottles, their bedding is clean and dry, and their pens are spacious and warm.

Station two, led by OSU Extension representative Jenifer Cruickshank, was all about how farmers care for their cows though nutrition, bedding, barns and pasture. They discussed the difference in dairy breeds and even had the opportunity to pet TMK’s “cowlebrities.”

At station three, Shauna Garza from TMK explained how milk from their cows gets made into delicious cheese. The Girl Scouts were able to look into the creamery through the windows of TMK’s boutique tasting room, where they learned about the importance of keeping the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities clean. Then, Mallory Phelan from Aglink and Tillamook County’s Dairy Princess Ambassador, Araya Wilks, led the group in a fun game designed to demonstrate the many career opportunities in agriculture.

The Girl Scouts were able to finish their patch requirements at the last station, led by the Klamath County Dairy Princess Ambassador, Jaime Evers, as she talked about the importance of dairy in a well-balanced diet, and then the Girl Scouts were able to “taste test” delicious cheese that was made right there on the farm.

“The Oregon Dairy Patch program is a great opportunity for girls to discover the local food chain. It encourages them to be curious about where their food comes from, and what it takes to get it from the farm to the factory to their table,” said Lisa Gilham-Luginbill, Program Manager for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. “We hope they’ll learn something new along the way, and perhaps discover an interest or future career in the process.”

RELATED LINKS:

Oregon Dairy Patch curriculum

Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington

New Girl Scouts Dairy Patch Unveiled at Oregon Dairy Day Event

Who’s Who: Careers in Food

Milk to the Rescue: Addressing an Ongoing Need

It’s a staple of American households and often tops the grocery list, but for many low-income families, having milk in the refrigerator can be a rarity. According to the Great American Milk Drive, people served by food banks receive less than one gallon per person per year on average. In Oregon, that statistic is changing.

Thanks to an influx of milk provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program, the Oregon Food Bank network has been distributing nutritious skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milk every week to local families and individuals. So far, this has totaled nearly 160,000 gallons.

While it is great news, this did pose some challenges due to perishability, refrigeration capacity and logistics. In what they described as ‘a flurry of activity,’ Oregon Food Bank staff welcomed the distribution challenge and overcame stumbling blocks in coordination with Oregon’s 20 regional food banks to get the product in and out to communities as quickly as possible.

“This is a highly valuable and needed product across our region, and we’ve gotten really strong support from our partners in adjusting systems and processes that allow us to accept incredibly high volumes of milk,” said Gretchen Miller, Sourcing and Operations Strategist for Oregon Food Bank. “It’s more than we ever have in the past. What we’re happiest about is that we’re able to get fresh, high quality milk into the food insecure communities we serve.”

This milk provides a temporary supply to meet ongoing demand, and there are still long term needs to be addressed when it comes to fighting hunger in Oregon. You can help make a difference by contributing to the Oregon Food Bank and/or the Great American Milk Drive.

Cows Set a Good Example for National Nutrition Month

by Josie Oleson
Graduate Student in Clinical Nutrition
Oregon Health & Science University

As a student of nutrition, I know a lot about what people eat. It wasn’t until I visited a dairy farm that I learned what cows eat and how well they eat while producing the milk and dairy products we love. During my time on the farm, I discovered three ways that cows set a good example for the rest of us during National Nutrition Month and beyond.

#1: Cows have nutritionists

When was the last time you saw a dietitian? Cow nutritionists visit dairy farms regularly and observe the herds, analyze the nutritional quality of their feed, and see how much milk the cows are producing. Using that information, a cow nutritionist can change the components of their feed to make the herd as healthy as possible.

#2: Cows follow tailored diets

Cows get a specific mix of grasses, grains, and byproducts from food processing to support a balanced diet. Cow nutritionists ensure the feed ingredients are in the right amounts for optimal cow health and milk production.

What happens if the cows get off track? Here’s Derrick Josi from Wilsonview Dairy having a talk with his Jersey cows about the importance of following a nutritious diet and not eating empty calories.

#3: Cows eat a lot of fiber

Almond hulls and citrus pulp are some of the byproducts from food production that are added to cow feed. Humans can’t digest these things, yet they are full of fiber and other nutrients. Instead of going to waste, cows can digest them and convert them into nutritious milk.

These are just a few of the ways cows stay at their best thanks to a healthy diet. Dairy farmers and their nutritionists are helping keep their herds healthy, making milk more efficiently, and managing their farms more sustainably.

Back-To-School Tasty Snack

Bring friends together with this cheesy dip.

Serves 5

healthy-recipeSide dish recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: A fun way to get calcium, protein and whole grains.

 

INGREDIENTS
2.5 oz. cream cheese
6.5 oz. cheese, cheddar, yellow, reduced fat, shredded
1/3 cup yogurt, low-fat, plain
2 Tablespoons milk, 1% low-fat
20 crackers, whole grain, low-salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Place cream cheese and cheddar cheese in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Add yogurt and milk. Puree again until smooth.

Transfer dip to a serving bowl.

Serve with whole grain crackers.

Refrigerate leftovers.

 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Calories: 216, Total Fat: 12.40 g, Saturated Fat: 6.75 g, Cholesterol: 30.64 mg, Sodium: 360.65 mg, Calcium: 378.88 mg, Protein: 13.57 g, Carbohydrates: 13.43 g, Dietary Fiber: 1.68 g

Honey Lemon Panna Cotta

This Italian-inspired creamy dessert is the perfect end to any meal, and toppings are customizable to every season.

Serves 8

dash-recipehealthy-recipeDessert recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: Top with

  • Seasonal fresh fruit, such as berries or chopped peaches (frozen works, too.)
  • Mint leaves and canned mandarin orange segments

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/3 cup mild honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon zest

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour milk and buttermilk into a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over the milk. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to soften.

Turn stove heat to low, heat milk and gelatin, stirring constantly to melt gelatin, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, honey, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest. Pour in warm milk. Stir to combine and remove lumps. To make smooth, you can blend with an immersion blender or a blender.

Pour Panna Cotta into serving vessel – a large bowl, pie plate, or individual cups. Refrigerate until firm or overnight. The size of the container will impact this but it could be at least 4 hours.

Top with fruit such as blueberries, chopped strawberries, or cooked rhubarb.

 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Per serving: 98 calories, 1 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 0 g fiber, 107 mg sodium, 220 mg potassium, 16 mg magnesium, 169 mg calcium

Choose milk, buttermilk and plain yogurt in the fat level (fat-free, low fat, reduced-fat or whole) that best fits your personal health goals.

Recipe courtesy of Live Best

Four Seasons of Oregon Dairy Stories

Looking back over the past year, there were a lot of great stories about Oregon dairy farmers, processors and the positive work they support with schools, health professionals and communities across the state.

In case you missed them, here are links to some notable posts we shared in 2017:

Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall Reaps Positive Results

What I Learned on My First Visit to a Dairy Farm

21st Century Dairy Farm, 21st Century Dairy Farmer

Grants Support Strengthening Oregon Schools and Students

New Elk Meadow Students’ Video Highlights Healthy Habits

Community Inspired to Live Stronger, Healthier and Happier

Outstanding in His Field: Noah Miramontes on Dairy Farming and Soccer

Meet the Miramontes Family: First Generation Oregon Dairy Farmers

Seven Things You Should Know About Large Dairies

Every Day is Earth Day for Dairy Farmers

Exploring New Markets for Dairy Exports

Southeast Asia Dairy Trade Mission Updates

School Culinary Trainings Spice Up the Menu

Back to School: Literacy Project Helps Bridge Gap

Eight Questions for an Oregon Dairy Mom

Oregon Celebrates School Wellness Awards

Adopt a Farmer Program Includes Oregon Dairies

Milk Builds Strong Schools in Oregon

Is DASH the Best Diet … Ever?

Improving School Meals for Oregon Students

Two Great Ways You Can Enjoy the Milk Carton Boat Race

Starting the Day out Right with School Breakfast

Farming with Innovation and Heart Earns National Award for Rickreall Dairy

Brews to Moos: Cows Savor Brewery Byproduct

For This Nurse, Dairy Farming Provides the Perfect Antidote

Grant Helps Hermiston School Connect Technology, Nutrition

Dairy Princess Ambassador Goes International

Milk Celebrated as Official Beverage of Oregon, OSAA

Oregon Schools Invited to Apply for School Wellness Awards

Stacy Foster Selected to Manage Oregon Dairy Industry Relations

Oregon’s Newest Creamery Invites You to the Farm

Advancing Health, Wellness and Education in Rogue Valley

New Adopt a Farmer Video Features Oregon Dairy

Ten Oregon Dairy Farms to Follow on Facebook

Recent articles have also covered the DASH Diet, solar panels and milk as Oregon’s official state beverage. Stay tuned, because we have more interesting and exciting stories coming your way in 2018. If you have a burning question or a topic you’d like to see us cover, just let us know.

DASH into the New Year for a Healthier You

by Josie Oleson, Oregon Health & Science University Dietetic Intern

Having trouble setting a New Year’s resolution? Why not DASH into 2018 by eating better and working toward a healthier you?

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, emphasizes dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein as part of a balanced diet to reduce high blood pressure and improve health. Cheese, milk, and yogurt provide essential nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium that are key in making the DASH diet work.

For eight years, DASH has been ranked the Best Diet Overall diet by U.S. News and World Report. In 2018, the eating plan also topped the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recently lowered the recommendations for what it means to have high blood pressure. This change will increase the number of people with elevated or high blood pressure, but this also means that people will be able to fight back sooner by changing their diet and getting more exercise. This is what the DASH diet was originally designed to do, but it’s also a healthy way of eating that is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Want to kick-start your DASH resolution?

Take the Rate Your Plate Quiz and get started with this 4-step plan.


Try this new DASH recipe – White Chicken Chili

 

 

 

 


Find more recipes.

dash-recipe

White Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

I’m Dreaming of a White … Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pie.

These cookies are ‘mint’ to be for parties, gift baskets or a fun baking project with your kids during the holiday season. Try one bite, and you’ll be saying “whoopee” for whoopie pies.

Makes 2 dozen whoopie pies

indulgent-recipeDessert recipe

INGREDIENTS
Chocolate Cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup milk

White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling:
2 ounces chopped white chocolate
5 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
½ cup butter, softened
3 ¾ cups (1 1-pound box) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure mint extract (or peppermint extract)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 peppermint candies, crushed into fine pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375˚. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

For Cookies:

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Stir in milk. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake until edges appear set, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool on pan 1 minute. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

For White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling:

Combine white chocolate and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute at medium (50%) power, stirring at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, mint extract, vanilla and salt on low speed until blended.

To assemble, spread the bottom sides of half the cookies with the White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down; press gently together. Sprinkle the edges of the buttercream with crushed peppermint candies.

Recipe submitted to Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council by Edwina Gadsby

Back to School: Literacy Project Helps Bridge Gap

Mary Swearingen and class

by Mary Swearingen, dairy nutrition consultant and Oregon Dairy Women member

Twenty years ago, I was in the third grade when my cousin (a county dairy princess at the time) visited my class to give a presentation — it was the same year milk became the Official State Beverage of Oregon. Twenty years later, I returned to read to three first grade classes at Mary Eyre Elementary School in Salem on April 12.

Mary Swearingen AITC Lit Project

The opportunity was made possible by a literacy project organized by Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom. In all, 72 students listened attentively and discussed where our dairy products come from, how dairy is part of a well-balanced diet, and everything our farmers do to care for their cows.

I work as a nutrition consultant for a feed company in Harrisburg, and because the literacy project activity focused on nutrition, I brought feed samples with me and explained that I help farmers create balanced diets for their cows.  Students got to see and smell alfalfa hay, flaked corn and almond hulls.

We talked about how cows are amazing at recycling byproducts, or leftovers from food production. I feel that it was important to volunteer for this year’s literacy project because the book answered the ever so popular question: does chocolate milk come from brown cows? A common misnomer among consumers, the book illustrates that all breeds of dairy cows produce white milk.

Mary Swearingen and cowIt was a really great opportunity to help bridge the gap between the farm and the classroom. After all, our milk and dairy products don’t just come from the dairy case. As a treat for all the students (and teachers) I brought 75 pints of chocolate milk with me, and the students all loved it.

At the end of the presentation, I opened the floor to questions and by far my favorite was from a concerned student asking, “in the middle of the day when the farmer is trying to sleep, doesn’t he get tired of hearing those cows moo all the time?”

I grew up as a city kid, but spent most of my school breaks working on my aunt and uncle’s dairy in Stayton picking berries and feeding calves. It didn’t take long to develop a passion and love of the farm, to see the hard work and effort it takes to dairy was quite literally a life-changing experience.

I went from one extreme to the other, wanting to be a teacher to Veterinary Medicine, and ultimately to animal nutrition.  I got involved in 4-H Livestock my freshman year of high school and participated in the Oregon Dairy Women’s Dairy Princess Program. These experiences have led me to see the importance of educating our youth and advocating for our farmers and ranchers.


The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council proudly sponsors Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s 2017 Literacy Project. More information is available at oregonaitc.org/programs/literacy-project.

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