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Seasonal Sippers Supply Bone-Building Benefits

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, pack nutrients into your holiday punch with beverage ideas from Meals Matter,, 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.

Candy Cane Cocoa

Serves 4


4 cups (1 quart) Fat-free milk

1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 Chocolate mint candy canes, crushed

1 cup Whipped topping

4 Chocolate mint candy canes


Heat milk in large saucepan to a simmer over medium heat. Add chocolate

chips and crushed candy canes; whisk until chips and candy are melted.

Pour hot cocoa into four mugs. Garnish with whipped topping. Serve

immediately with a candy cane for a stirring stick.

Hot Chai Tea

Serves 8


7 cups Fresh water

1 cup Fat-free milk

10 Black Chai Spice tea bags

1/2 cup Sugar


Bring 7 cups (56 oz.) of fresh water to a rolling boil. Pour water over

10 tea bags and let steep for three to five minutes. Mix in 1 cup

fat-free milk and 1/2 cup sugar.

Low-Fat Eggnog

Serves 6


1/2 cup Egg substitute

4 tablespoons Sugar

1 can (13 ounces) Evaporated skim milk

3/4 cup Fat-free milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Ground nutmeg


Whip egg substitute and sugar. Combine with both types of milk and

vanilla. Mix well and chill overnight (this enhances the flavor). Serve

in chilled mugs and top with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg.

About Meals Matter

Meals Matter is a free meal-planning and nutrition website sponsored by Dairy Council of California, staffed by registered dietitians and dedicated to promoting healthy food choices for families.

About Dairy Council of California

Dairy Council of California develops nutrition education programs designed to be personally relevant to each user. Making healthy food choices from all food groups and including daily physical activity are the foundation for lifelong health and wellness. Healthy Eating Made Easier.(R)

Available Topic Expert(s): Andrea Garen, M.A., R.D. For information on the listed expert, click appropriate link.

SOURCE Dairy Council of California
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