Lion Dairy & Drinks is shining a light on dairy – with the milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives category being the second most under consumed food group in Australians' diet this National Nutrition Week.
The 2017 National Nutrition Week (15-21 October 2017) brings nutrition front of mind for many, Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) is revealing the concerning realities about the second most under consumed food group in the Aussie diet; milk, yoghurt, cheese (dairy) and alternativesi. National Nutrition Week is timely reminder not just for the nine out of 10 Australians who are not getting their recommended daily intake of dairy or alternatives but also for parents, as statistics show Aussie children's dairy consumption declines as they age, whilst at the same time their nutrient needs and recommended serves of dairy or alternatives, increases.
Complimentary to National Nutrition Week, LDD launched Milk Loves You Back this year, to remind Australians of the natural goodness contained in milks like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters that boast a broad range of health benefits from 8 natural nutrients.
Growing Bodies and Bones
Alarmingly, dairy consumption dramatically declines during pre-teen and teenage years, with only 1 in 50 (2%) Australian teenagers aged 12-18 year consuming their recommended serves of dairy or alternatives. While children aged 2-3 are the biggest consumers of dairy or alternatives, there's a worrying decline in consumption as they grow. This decline occurs at a critical time when childrens' nutrient needs and recommended serves of dairy or alternative increasesi. This is to support their body and bone growth, particularly at the ages of 12-14 for girls and 13-15 for boys, when a quarter of adult bone mass is built.
According to LDD's own research, reassuringly, 4 in 5 (78%) Aussie children (aged 5-17) believe that nutrients in dairy milk gives us strong teeth and bones, and almost half believe milk helps our bodies as we grow (47%). That said, calcium, along with iron, are the most commonly under-consumed nutrients in the Australian dietiv. Notably, 95% of children aged 2-3 met their recommended nutrient intake, except iron, similarly 95% of those aged 4-8 met their recommended except for iron and calcium. In contrast, 71% of boys and more than 90% of girls aged 14-18 years did not achieve adequate calcium intakes, in part due to higher nutrient needs and lower dairy consumption in older children.
Milk is, in fact, one of the richest sources of calcium in the dietvii. Milk and dairy foods like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters boast a broad range of health benefits. It also has 8 natural nutrients including not just calcium, but protein and phosphorus - which are critical for growing bones, as part of a balanced diet- as well as potassium, iodine and vitamins B2, B5 and B12.
Getting the Balance Right
Contrary to the 3 in 10 (31%) parents incorrectly assuming boys and girls have the same recommended dairy intakev, recommended dairy or alternative serves vary – children aged 2-3 and girls 4-8 years should consume 1½ serves of dairy per day as part of a balanced diet, however for boys aged 4-8 it increases to 2 serves per day and recommended serves of dairy per day continues to increase with age up to 3½ serves per day for teens 12-18 years.
A serve of dairy comes in many different forms. It can be as easy as a glass of milk in the morning (250ml), a small tub of yogurt (200g) or 2 slices (40g) of cheese in a sandwich. Or for a more sophisticated option, pairing your dairy with your fruit and vegetables - Australian analysis suggests that school lunches provide about 40% of children's daily food/energy intakes.
Here are some simple ways to get dairy in to your kids lunchbox:
Yoghurt: Try a yogurt pouch, (70g may suit little kids or >100g for bigger kids) or a small tub, it's perfect at recess (handy hint: you can freeze the yoghurt pouch/tub to stay cool).
Milk: Leftover pasta with cheese sauce (made with milk and cheese) can be a great alternative to a sandwich, paired with cauliflower or broccoli. For the kids, a small UHT regular or flavoured milk is a great snack for the active ones, providing all the goodness of milk in an easy product you can keep in the pantry and pop in the lunchbox.
Cheese: Try adding 1 or 2 slices of cheese in the sandwich, or grated cheese in a wrap or sprinkled on top of a pasta or a salad.
Hawthorn legend and father of four, Shane Crawford adds: 'I am all about getting the balance right and this has never been more important than when a dad. We work hard to make sure our boys get the right nutrients to keep them fired up throughout the day. I often stop for a milkshake after a runabout with the boys, or whip together our favorite smoothie, to help not only their little bodies refuel, but mine too!"
For more information on the 8 essential nutrients in milks like Dairy Farmers, Masters and Pura, recommended daily serves and more, visit www.milklovesyouback.com.au.
Question: What message do you hope to spread this National Nutrition Week?
Katrina Strazdins: It's simple, with 8 nutrients milk loves you back. We believe milk is the original superfood, and yet 9 out of 10 Australians do not consume the recommended serves of dairy or alternatives each day. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016. Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12 Cat no, 4364.0.55.012) So this National Nutrition Week we want to remind Australians just how nutritious milk and dairy foods are, and encourage them to get more of the 8 nutrients found naturally in milk's like Pura, Dairy farmers and Masters, by enjoying the dairy foods they love to eat.
Question: How is Lion Dairy & Drinks supporting this message?
Katrina Strazdins: Lion Dairy & Drinks has tested all of our milk products nationally to show that milk's like Pura, Dairy Farmers and Master naturally provide 8 essential nutrients. We have been labelling the nutritional content of our products and placing the -with 8 nutrients Milk Loves You Back' logo on the front of these milk labels to share with consumers how nutritious milk is. You can also check out wwwmilklovesyouback.com.au which talks more about milk's goodness and the benefits of the natural nutrients it provides.
Question: How can we learn to balance the right nutrients in our diets?
Katrina Strazdins: The Australian Dietary Guidelines provides an ideal guide and recommends 3 of dairy or alternatives a day (https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au). A serve of dairy is a glass of milk (250mL), a small tub of yoghurt (200g) and 2 slices of cheese (40g) or a glass of a milk alternatives such as calcium enriched soy milk. As most of us do not consume enough dairy foods or alternatives, getting the balance right could simply start but having more dairy foods each day. It can be easy to make a few simple but positive changes - Why not have an extra milk cappuccino tomorrow, a salad with some fetta or a salad sandwich with cheese for lunch!
Question: What nutrients are most of us lacking?
Katrina Strazdins: Calcium, along with iron are the most commonly under-consumed nutrients in the Australian diet (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015, Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12 cat. no. 4364.0.55.008) Less than 2% of teenagers meet their recommended dairy serves and alternatives which is reflected in the 71% of boys and more than 90% of girls aged 14-18 years who did not achieve adequate calcium intakes! (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015, Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12 cat. no. 4364.0.55.008) We know that milk is the richest source of calcium in the Australian diet and also makes a significant contribution to protein, phosphorus, potassium, iodine and vitamins B2, B5 and B12 intakes (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, Cat. no. 4364.0.55.007)
Question: How can we incorporate more dairy into our diets?
Katrina Strazdins: It's as easy milk on your cereal in the morning, a latte, a tub of yogurt is a great afternoon snack, and some cheese in your sandwich or a handful on your salad.
Question: Why do you think many Australians don't consume enough dairy?
Katrina Strazdins: Quite simply Australians have forgotten how nutritious milk is. That is why we launched Milk Loves You Back - to remind Australians just how nutritious milk is. We know people are confused about all the health messages out there. Our data has revealed the variety of sources Australians are turning to in their hunt of nutritional data and Information. Women are more likely to refer to online sources such as online forums and google searches (65%, versus 46% of men) and lifestyle blogs (14%, versus 5% of men) (Lonergan Research 2017, commissioned by Lion Dairy & Drinks. Online Survey of 1037 Australian adults (nationally representative) and 530 children). It's important to make sure you get the facts. For information about all the nutrients found naturally in milks like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters go to www.milklovesyouback.com.au
Question: What tips do you have for us to ensure we're eating a balanced diet?
Katrina Strazdins: The best tip is to enjoy a wide variety if nutritious foods you love. Start by trying to get around 3 serves of dairy a day and more vegetables! Try milk on your cereal, an extra milky cappuccino in the morning or a chocolate milk, like Masters, Classic, Move or Big M if you are not a coffee drinker. A tub of yoghurt is a great afternoon snack and some cheese in your sandwich or sprinkled on your salad add extra nutrition and taste!
Question: Can you share a dairy-rich recipe with us?
Katrina Strazdins: If you jump on either of our websites you will see a couple of great recipes here
Interview by Brooke Hunter