Newsletter Sign Up
The Nutrition Education People
STL Dairy Council on FacebookSTL Dairy Council RSS Feed

Build A Better Breakfast

By St. Louis District Dairy Council
Posted in Blog, and Press Releases on March 2nd, 2015

It’s been called the most important meal of the day--and for good reason. The documented benefits of eating breakfast include boosting brain power, improving nutrient intakes and revving up metabolism. And while 93% of Americans believe that fueling an empty tank every morning is important, less than half jumpstart the day this way, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

 St Louis District Dairy Council is aiming to help make the morning meal a reality with their new effort “Build a Better Breakfast with Milk.” The awareness campaign is launching in March, which is National Nutrition Month.  “Breakfast is the first nutrition opportunity of the day – a chance to get in some important foods that may be lacking in our diets, like dairy foods, fruits, and whole grains. These foods pack a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Research shows that breakfast-skippers may not make up these nutrients later in the day,’ notes St. Louis District Dairy Council nutrition educator Joyce Fikri.

 While the USDA statistics suggest Americans are “in the know” about the nutritional need for breakfast, they may be lacking in another area--time. Morning schedules can make for hectic households, with families rushing out the door for work, school and errands. “Time is a prized commodity, but you can pack speed, convenience and health into your morning meal,” says Fikri. “Choosing milk at breakfast, whether in a glass, on cereal, or mixed in a smoothie, is a simple way to add great taste in a matter of seconds. And milk is the #1 source of calcium and potassium in the diet, so you’re boosting bone and heart health, along with fueling up.”

 What is the best choice for the morning meal? According to experts, a meal high in protein may do the best job of curbing hunger and providing a feeling of “fullness” or satiety. “One cup of milk has 8 grams of high-quality protein, which is as much as an egg. Whether on its own as an instant fuel, or paired with whole wheat toast and peanut butter, milk can help keep you feeling satisfied until lunchtime,” offers Fikri.

 The staying power of milk’s protein isn’t the only benefit of making it part of your morning routine. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults and children ages 9 and older include three servings of dairy food in their daily eating plan. On average, Americans are coming up short by getting only about two servings. “Adding one serving of milk during breakfast provides nine essential nutrients in an easy and affordable way,” notes Fikri. When it comes to delivering great taste and nutrition in a pinch, milk is a great multi-tasker. It’s the real deal.”

 Quick Tips to Build a Better Breakfast with Milk:

  • Tried and True: milk+ your favorite cereal = perfect partnership
  • Make the Switch: choose milk, rather than water, to prepare hot cereals
  • Mix It Up: whip milk, yogurt, your favorite fruit and ice together in a blender
  • On the Run: grab a single serve bottle of chocolate milk on your way out
  • Stir It In: build a  bone-boosting latte with warm milk and a shot of espresso

Make your morning meal a real powerhouse of nutrients with these recipes featuring milk—the real deal.

Rise and Sunshine Smoothie

Servings: 2  Prep Time:  10 minutes;  Cook Time:  10 minutes


  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup milk (fat-free or low-fat)
  • ½ cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey

 Put ice cubes in blender and crush. Add orange juice, milk, vanilla yogurt and honey to blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Pour into tall, glasses, add straws and sip away!

 Nutrition Facts: (using fat-free milk)

Calories:  150; Fat: 2 grams; Calcium: 25% DV; Protein: 7 grams

Cheddar ‘n Ham Muffins

Servings:  9       Prep Time:  5 minutes     Cook Time:  15 minutes


  • ¾ cup low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ¾ cup reduced fat all-purpose baking mix
  • 1 cup milk, low-fat
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup ham, diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses in a bowl. Add milk and baking mix; stir together. Add pepper and ham and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased muffin pan (about ½ full). Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until muffin tops are golden brown

Nutrition Facts: 

Calories:  140; Fat: 4 grams; Calcium: 20% DV; Protein:  8 grams