Parents urged to add dairy

DAIRY Australia has encouraged parents to add more milk, cheese and yoghurt to their children's lunchbox.

A study has found that only one in five children consume enough dairy to meet their calcium requirements.

Dairy Australia dietitian Glenys Zucco said it was important to offer children foods that are full of essential vitamins and minerals for healthy bodies, rather than less nutritious foods such as chips, soft drinks and snack bars that provide calories but little nutrition.

"The school years are a time for building peak bone mass and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

"As children get older their requirements for calcium increase, but research tells us their intake of calcium-rich foods such as dairy is not keeping up with these increased needs," Ms Zucco said.

Dairy Australia encouraged parents to continue packing dairy foods for school children over the warmer months.

Because lunchbox food safety is particularly important in the warmer months the organisation provided the following tips to storing dairy safely:

  • A freezer pack and insulated lunchbox is one of the best ways to keep food chilled.
  • Freeze flavoured milk - this will keep the rest of the lunchbox cool and make for a healthy, refreshing drink.
  • Cheesy savoury muffins are an easy lunchbox filler.
  • Try ham, cheese and corn or cheese, chive and grated sweet potato.
  • UHT milks are a great option to include as they do not need to be kept cold.

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