Tag Archives: dairy

A Simple Switch: Choosing Low-Fat Dairy

Two women shopping for milk

These women recently found out that choosing healthier low-fat dairy products, such as 1% milk or fat free yogurt, costs the same as full fat!

Hi! Meredith, Kim, Dimple, Kathryn and Anna here! We’re students at Virginia Tech who study Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise and we want to share what we’ve learned about choosing healthier dairy options. With the help of the Family Nutrition Program and what we have learned in class, we all switched to low-fat and fat-free dairy. And we didn’t even taste the difference!

This why you TOO should make the switch… Dairy foods are important because they improve bone health. This is important for both adults and kids. Dairy foods that are full fat are high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which can have negative effects on heart health. So choosing low-fat dairy is a great way to keep your body healthy. Here are some of our tips:

Kathryn: I choose 1% chocolate milk instead of whole milk at the grocery store!

Anna: My favorite breakfast is non-fat Greek yogurt topped with seasonal berries.

Kim: Since I’m lactose intolerant, I choose lactose-free skim milk at the grocery store. I think it even tastes better than regular milk and I still get the calcium I need.

Dimple: Instead of ice cream for dessert, I have frozen Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts!

Meredith: I like snacking on reduced-fat mozzarella cheese sticks. They’re convenient for when I have busy days and are healthier than full fat cheese sticks!

Click here to learn more about small changes you can make to improve you and your family’s heart health. Interested in trying new, healthy recipes that use low-fat or fat-free dairy? Visit our recipe collection here. Be sure to try the Berry Purple Smoothie. Meredith makes it for breakfast before school and it’s healthy, filling and easy to make! There are many other healthy, easy to make recipes on the VCE FNP’s website your family will love.

Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Day 2

Today’s post is part of a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin

Waking up this morning was hard. I didn’t feel like I had much energy to get going. I wonder if some of that is due to eating less than usual because of the Challenge. My breakfast this morning was overnight oatmeal, a glass of milk, and 2 hardboiled eggs.  

Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight oatmeal


Milk and eggs breakfast

Milk and eggs







Getting closer to lunch today was not bad- the fiber from the overnight oatmeal and protein from the eggs have kept me feeling fuller. However, I am also aware that being busy at work also plays a role. Lunch was black beans, chicken and rice with olive oil and some red pepper flakes to add a little heat. Unfortunately, I had to rush through lunch and was not able to mindfully eat, again.

black beans chicken and rice  lunch

black beans chicken and rice, already half eaten







I was hungry leaving work again. When I got home, I ate a quick snack of celery with peanut butter and yogurt with berries.

celery and peanut butter afternoon snackYogurt and berries afternoon snack







Dinner tonight was rice and ratatouille, which was tasty, but not as filling as dinner last night with the beans and chicken. So tonight I had an apple with peanut butter and a glass of milk as a late night snack to fill me all the way up.

Ratatouille and rice  Dinner

Ratatouille with rice

Apples and peanut butter late snack


Again, I didn’t quite meet my calorie, grain and protein needs. Yet, I did better with the amount of grains and calories I ate today compared to yesterday. I ate less protein than yesterday, but that is probably because of my dinner not having any protein.  Even with the increase in grains, I still had a lot of vegetables. Having a lot of vegetables is a good thing, they just didn’t have a lot of calories.

calorie intake

Calories and food groups eaten today (from MyPlate.gov)

Day 7 of Julie’s SNAP Challenge

Today I attended a Legislative Day in Richmond with the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It was a very long day – getting up at 4:45 am and getting home at 8:30 pm. However, I learned a lot of cool things about how our state government functions, and was very glad I went. While I was there, they gave out free breakfast and lunch! So awesome! Here is a picture of the breakfast bar I ate.

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Day 2 of Julie’s SNAP Challenge

This morning I ate oatmeal with some skim milk and peanut butter swirled in. I must say that I really love milk. When I was little, my mom made me drink it and I didn’t find it that amazing, but now that I am older, I can’t get enough of the stuff! Good thing too, because it is so good for you! Do you like to drink milk? I prefer 2% actually, but I bought skim this week because it was cheaper.

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Day 1 of Julie’s SNAP Challenge

For breakfast I usually have oatmeal, eggs, and fruit. But since I couldn’t afford fruit I ate just oatmeal and eggs. I also like yogurt, but noticed that milk was significantly cheaper, so I decided to substitute milk for yogurt. I know it’s not the same, but it still provides calcium and protein. Continue reading