How a breakfast with milk can help lead the way to academic success
(Family Features) As kids get ready to start a new school year, moms are also getting back into the swing of a morning routine. One thing that can’t be missed? A complete breakfast! Research shows eating breakfast helps kids concentrate and focus at school, giving moms good reason to serve up balanced nutrition before that first morning bell.
This back-to-school season, start the day off strong and pair your little one’s breakfast with a glass of milk. An 8-ounce glass of milk gives kids 8 grams of high-quality protein plus other essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to the morning meal.
Most days, finding time for a balanced breakfast may be easier said than done. One way to help alleviate the morning rush is to make breakfast ahead of time, so it’s ready to go before sending kids off to school. These make-ahead Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest are simple and fun to make. Served with an 8-ounce glass of milk, they make for a delicious breakfast to help start everyone’s school day off right.
Find more nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.
Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest
Servings: 6 (2 nests per serving)
- Nonstick olive oil spray
- 4 cups frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup fat free milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup cooked, lean ground turkey sausage, crumbled
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Heat oven to 400° F and spray 12-well muffin tin with nonstick olive oil spray.
- Place a scoop of shredded potatoes into each muffin hole, pressing around edges to create “nest”. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove pan from oven and using spoon, gently press any fallen potatoes back up against sides of each muffin hole. Turn oven down to 350° F.
- In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and place in fridge while preparing green pepper, tomatoes or additional vegetables.
- Stir cooked meat and vegetables into the bowl with egg mixture and pour equally between all “nests.” Sprinkle a pinch of cheese over each nest. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is set.
- Remove from oven and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk.
Note: Nests can also be stored in airtight bags in fridge once cool for 3-4 days, and be reheated for an on the go breakfast.
Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 4.5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 105 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 23 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 510 mg sodium; 381 mg calcium (40% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of fat free milk.
Fewer calories, more protein is a winning combo for weight loss and healthy aging
(Family Features) Do you pay attention to how much protein you eat at each meal? A new study suggests that when it comes to weight loss and healthy aging, getting enough protein at mealtimes is important.
Duke University researchers found obese women who ate adequate or high amounts of protein, including nutrient-rich lean pork, as part of a six month weight-loss diet not only lost weight, they improved their ability to get around, too.
“There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss,” said Connie Bales, PhD, professor in medicine at Duke University. “But our research suggests a higher-protein, lower-calorie diet, including lean pork, could be a viable solution – especially for older women who are most at risk.”
While most Americans eat the majority of their protein at dinner, researchers suggest there could be benefits to spreading protein throughout the day. In this study, women ate 30 grams of protein at each meal with two of the meals including lean pork. Choices like tenderloin, low-sodium ham, chops and lean ground pork are among the seven cuts of pork that meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” by containing less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of meat. In fact, pork tenderloin has the same amount of fat as a skinless chicken breast.
The next time you fire up your grill, try these lemon-basil pork chops. Serve up 30 grams of tasty protein for dinner, while tapping into the flavors of summer.
Grilled Lemon-Basil Pork Chops with Lemon-Basil Orzo
- 4 bone-in ribeye (rib) pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- 3 small lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 8 ounces orzo
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Zest and juice lemons. In small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Set aside 3 tablespoons of mixture. Transfer remaining mixture to large resealable bag and add pork. Set aside for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and return orzo to pot. Stir in reserved lemon-basil mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Prepare a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Season pork with salt and pepper and grill until internal temperature reaches 145 F, about 4 minutes per side. Remove chops from grill and let rest 3 minutes.
- Serve chops with orzo.
Nutritional information per serving: 440 calories; 30 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 30 g protein; 47 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 60 mg sodium.
Source: National Pork Board
Quality nutrition for the perfect start to longer spring days
(Family Features) With warm weather on the horizon, it’s time to turn the clocks forward and say “so long” to winter and “hello” to longer spring days. With an extra hour of daylight ahead, spring is the perfect season to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and get the family on track with healthy habits and quality nutrition – starting at breakfast.
As you plan morning meals for your family this spring, remember that milk provides important nourishment – like high-quality protein – for you and your kids. As one of the original farm-to-table food, this wholesome drink typically arrives on grocery store shelves in just two days from many family-owned and -operated dairy farms. Milk is minimally processed for safety and farm fresh, often originating from dairy farms fewer than 300 miles away from your grocery store.
Start off warm springtime mornings with a sweet, butterfly-inspired twist on a breakfast sandwich made with Mandarin orange slices, sure to get your kids excited about wholesome choices at breakfast. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk to give your kids more of what they already love, with protein they need to give them a good start on the day.
For more information and kid-friendly recipes with milk, visit milklife.com.
Recipe by Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb
- 1 white English muffin
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- 6 blueberries
- 4 mandarin orange slices
- 1 green grape, cut into strips
- Slice and toast English muffin. Spread cream cheese on both halves of muffin.
- Arrange three blueberries in a line down the middle of each half of the muffin and place a mandarin orange slice on each side of the blueberry lines to serve as wings of the butterfly. Place grape strips above blueberry line as antennas.
- Serve with an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 310 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 440 mg sodium; 364 mg calcium (35% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Give your favorite recipes an extra protein boost
(Family Features) Anything is possible when you have the energy to take on the day. Protein shakes have grown in popularity because they’re a convenient and healthy way to curb hunger and give your body sustained energy. Plus, they can give your favorite recipes a protein boost.
When choosing a shake, look for an option such as Premier Protein Shakes, which can help provide fuel to make the day yours with sweet and savory recipes from cinnamon rolls and bread pudding to soups and twice-baked potatoes. Each single-serve, 160-calorie shake is packed with 30 grams of protein, is low in fat and contains just 1 gram of sugar.
Old-Fashioned Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup Premier Protein Caramel Shake
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) yeast
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided, plus additional for greasing bowl and pan
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading and rolling
- 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon Premier Protein Caramel Shake
- Heat protein shake in microwave or on stove to about 110° F, or warm to touch but not boiling.
- In medium bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm protein shake and stir to combine. Let sit 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and egg, and mix until well combined. Gradually add flour, stirring after each addition. Once dough is no longer too sticky to handle, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 3-5 minutes to make moderately soft dough. Shape dough into ball.
- Place dough in lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in warm place until size has doubled (about 1 hour). Punch dough down, cover and let rise 1 additional hour. Punch dough down.
- Grease 8-by-8-inch glass or metal baking dish and set aside.
- In separate bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Using pastry brush, brush about 1 1/2 tablespoons of remaining butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle 2/3 of cinnamon sugar mixture over dough.
- Using pizza cutter or knife, cut dough into nine even 12-inch strips. Roll each strip tightly, sealing ends by pressing into dough. Arrange rolls in prepared pan. Pour remaining butter over buns then sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar on top. Let rise uncovered 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350° F. Bake rolls 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- While rolls cool slightly, prepare glaze. In small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and protein shake until smooth. Drizzle rolls with glaze. Serve warm.
Orange and Vanilla Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 pounds (about 4 cups) butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
- 2 tablespoons medium or dry sherry
- 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup Premier Protein Vanilla Shake
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with foil.
- In large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cardamom and nutmeg. Place on baking sheet and roast 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
- Meanwhile, in 3-quart pot over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add leeks, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 15 minutes, stirring often, until caramelized.
- Remove squash from oven and add to leeks. Stir in sherry and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend to desired consistency using immersion or standard blender. Reheat if desired. Stir in orange zest, protein shake, remaining salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Twice-Baked Sweet and Savory Potatoes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup Premier Protein Vanilla Shake
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Prick potatoes with fork and bake 45-60 minutes.
- During last 15 minutes, cook bacon in small pan until crispy. Drain all but 1 teaspoon of fat and cook shallots over low heat until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- When potatoes are soft and cooked, remove from oven and carefully cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out soft flesh, keeping outside shell intact.
- In bowl, mash potato flesh with cooked shallots, protein shake, salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne and 2 tablespoons cheese.
- Fill empty potato shells with mixture. Top with remaining cheese and crumbled bacon.
- Bake 10 minutes, or until potatoes are hot. Turn on broiler and cook, watching carefully, until cheese is lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Double Chocolate Breakfast Bread Pudding
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 Premier Protein Chocolate Shake
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 6 cups (about 6 slices) soft white or whole-wheat bread cubes
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and protein shake, followed by cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Grease 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish with butter. Add bread cubes. Pour egg mixture over bread. Mix gently to coat. Sprinkle in chocolate chips.
- Bake uncovered 20 minutes, or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.
Source: Premier Protein
(Family Features) It’s a common scenario: no time for breakfast, so you’re snacking on something sweet in the break room at 9 a.m. Two hours later you hit the vending machine for something salty.
The good news is there is an easy, healthy alternative to taking control of your appetite: protein. In fact, a growing body of research shows that spreading protein intake over the course of a day may be the solution to mindless snacking.
Protein helps you avoid feeling hungry, giving you more control over the foods you choose. Eating the right amount of protein at each meal also helps achieve weight loss goals by keeping you fuller longer, building muscles after a workout and protecting the lean muscle you already have.
The 30 Day Protein Challenge, created by the Beef Checkoff, is a fun, step-by-step plan to help you get a balanced amount of protein at each meal. The challenge helps you keep track of your food, hunger and moods to see how simple diet changes can make a difference in your overall health and wellness for 30 days and beyond.
Recipes that take less than 30 minutes, such as Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry and Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, can make balancing protein simple.
Visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to find everything you need to get started with the Protein Challenge, including tools and daily tips. Share your progress and engage with other participants online using #ProteinChallenge.
Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1 package (10 ounces) fresh vegetable stir-fry blend
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 beef ranch steaks (about 8 ounces each), cut 3/4-inch thick
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup prepared sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups hot cooked rice or brown rice, prepared without butter or salt
- 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
- In large, nonstick skillet, combine vegetables and water; cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove and drain vegetables. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cut beef steaks into 1/4-inch thick strips.
- Heat same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of beef and half of garlic; stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining beef and garlic.
- Return all beef and vegetables to skillet. Add stir-fry sauce and red pepper; cook and stir 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with peanuts.
Nutrition information per serving: 393 calories; 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 969 mg sodium; 41 g carbohydrate; 3.9 g fiber; 28 g protein; 7.3 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 4.2 mcg vitamin B12; 3.0 mg iron; 45.8 mcg selenium; 6.9 mg zinc; 99.3 mg choline.
Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Total time: 25 minutes
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks (4 ounces each), cut 3/4-inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 package (5 ounces) mixed baby salad greens
- 1 medium red or green pear, cored, cut into 16 wedges
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1/2 cup prepared honey mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Season beef steaks with pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 7-10 minutes for medium rare (145° F) to medium (160° F) doneness, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk Honey Mustard Dressing ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
- Divide greens evenly among four plates. Top evenly with pear wedges and dried cranberries.
- Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt, as desired. Divide steak slices evenly over salads. Top each salad evenly with dressing, pecans and goat cheese, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 332 calories; 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 79 mg cholesterol; 256 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrate; 3.4 g fiber; 27 g protein; 5.5 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 3.9 mcg vitamin B12; 3.7 mg iron; 24.2 mcg selenium; 4.4 mg zinc; 75.4 mg choline.