Back to School with Dairy

Has it really been since Friday that I last posted? Opps, time has been getting away from me lately. Erik started his second year of preschool on Tuesday. What a big day! Well, it was more nerve racking for me than him. This year he is going all day two days a week. *Sniff* He looked so cute with his backpack and lunch box.

first day of school, erik, fall 2011To make his first day great, I wanted to make a him a great and healthy lunch. I packed him a sandwich made with roasted Zweber Farms chicken, Organic Valley cheddar cheese and whole wheat bread. He also got a clementine, homemade oatmeal raisin cookie and an Organic Valley single serve milk.

Including dairy in my son’s lunch was very important. Did you know that milk provides you with nine essential nutrients? The USDA defines an ‘essential nutrient’ as a dietary substance required for healthy body functioning. Essential nutrients must come from the diet because the human body can’t manufacture them in sufficient quantities to meet daily needs. And it’s more than calcium and vitamin D. From helping repair muscle tissue to maintaining healthy red blood cells, the nine nutrients in milk work together to help keep the body in optimal health.*

Milk’s 9 Essential Nutrients*
Calcium Dairy is probably best known for its calcium, which helps to build and maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Potassium Potassium helps regulate the body’s fluid balance and helps maintain normal blood pressure. It’s also needed for muscle activity and contraction.
Phosphorus Feeling sluggish? Phosphorus helps strengthen bones and generate energy in the body’s cells.
Protein Protein doesn’t just come from meats. The protein in milk and cheese builds and repairs muscle tissue and serves as a source of energy.
Vitamin D Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is one of the nutrients Americans lack the most. It helps promote the absorption of calcium and enhances bone strength.
Vitamin A Vitamin A helps maintain normal vision and skin. It is also important for bone growth.
Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy red blood cells and nerve cells.
Riboflavin Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin helps convert food into energy the body can use. It’s also important for normal eyesight and healthy skin.
Niacin (or niacin equivalents) Niacin helps bodies digest sugars and fatty acids.

*Source: Midwest Dairy

Tomorrow night ( Thursday, September 8), Moms who love dairy can chat with two registered dietitians, Stephanie Cundith and Char Heer on Twitter. The party starts at 7pm central. The party is being hosted by @Resourcefulmom. Make sure to follow Steph (@scundithRD) and Char (@cheerRD) and use the hashtag #dairymom. By participating you can be entered to win fabulous prizes such as a hand blender, lunch bags, school supplies and more! One winner will have their recipe featured on the Midwest Dairy website.

I hope you can join the conversation. You can follow me on Twitter at @ezweber.

I just packed Erik’s lunch for Thursday. His lunch includes: PB&J (homemade strawberry jam from Grandma), whole wheat bread, grapes, oatmeal cookie,  Organic Valley Stringles and milk.

As a mom, I am trying to instill lifelong healthy eating habits in my children. I will do this one meal and one school lunch at a time. Since, I am new to the school lunch gig, does anyone have good ideas to make lunches fun and healthy? Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from those with more experience.


Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.