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Seasonal Sippers Supply Bone-Building Benefits
Date:12/13/2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, pack nutrients into your holiday punch with beverage ideas from Meals Matter, http://www.mealsmatter.org, sponsored by Dairy Council of California. Instead of high-calorie sodas and adult beverages with little nutritional value, serve lightened-up holiday classics like Candy Cane Cocoa, Low-Fat Eggnog or Hot Chai Tea for festive flavors and the bone-building benefits of calcium, a much-needed nutrient for both children and adults.

"During the holidays, it's easy to overdo it on empty calorie treats, especially beverages," said Andrea Garen, M.A., R.D., project manager for Meals Matter. "This year, start a bone-building beverage tradition that benefits the whole family."

Recipes for Candy Cane Cocoa, Hot Chai Tea and Low-Fat Eggnog all call for fat-free milk to control calories and provide calcium, a nutrient often lacking in American diets. Children are more likely to break their arms today than they were 40 years ago, a consequence that experts link to low calcium intake and less physical activity. Only a fraction of children -- 12 percent of girls and 32 percent of boys -- get the calcium they need to build strong bones by adolescence. Children and adolescents need two to three servings of dairy and at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise like skiing, skating or walking each day for optimal bone building. Adults need calcium, too. Three daily servings of dairy products like fat-free milk help keep bones strong and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

"These drink recipes provide a winning combination: they are fun to make, delicious to drink and provide calcium and other bone-building nutrients like vitamin D and protein. You can really feel good about serving these beverages to your family," said Garen.

Try one of the following recipes for an upcoming get together or as a cooking activity with kids.


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SOURCE Dairy Council of California
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