June is National Dairy Month
June 9, 2022
By Jenna White, Penn State Dietetic Intern
June is National Dairy Month, a month celebrating the dairy farmers of America and dairy’s positive impact on our health and economy. Raise a glass (of milk) in a toast to our nation’s dedicated dairy farmers!
National Dairy Month started out as “National Milk Month” in 1937. It was established to promote the purchase of milk products and stabilize the industry. At the time, there was an overproduction of dairy and a decreased demand for products. “National Milk Month” promoted the idea of refrigerating dairy in the home for a longer shelf life in the summer.
Now, there are countless local, county, and state events during the month of June celebrating delicious dairy products and the hard-working farmers that produce them.
Dairy farmers work to produce high-quality milk to make the products that our nation’s families depend on. They take steps to assure that their dairy cows are happy and healthy and always provide a good environment for milk production.
Milk and other dairy products boast many health benefits, which is why it’s recommended for people 9 and older to get 3 cups per day. Dairy products include many kinds of milk, yogurt, and cheeses. One cup of dairy is equivalent to 1 cup of milk or yogurt and 1.5 ounces of natural cheese.
Milk is a great source of protein, with 8 grams in every 8 oz serving. The calcium and Vitamin D in dairy are important for bone health. Consuming dairy at a young age can help build bones, and at an older age it can help maintain bone strength and prevent osteoporosis.
Fermented dairy products such as Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are referred to as functional foods, which means they have more extensive benefits. These foods have a positive effect on healthy bacteria in the gut, which can help with immunity, digestion, and nutrient absorption.
Celebrate National Dairy Month with this classic recipe! This dish is perfect for a big family meal that will last or a fun summer barbeque. It’s also a great source of protein from dairy ingredients.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon whole grain prepared mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups low-fat milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- 3 cups whole wheat macaroni elbows
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a large saucepan, bring four cups water to a rapid boil. Add dry macaroni to the boiling water. Cook for just five minutes and then drain. Set aside.
- In the same saucepan, combine cornstarch, whole grain mustard, salt, dried mustard, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir in chicken stock and milk. Add butter.
- Bring mixture to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute; the mixture will thicken and coat the spoon.
- Remove from heat. Stir in 2 ½ cups of the cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
- Add cooked elbows to the cheese sauce. Stir to mix well.
- Pour the pasta into a greased 2 ½-quart casserole dish.
- Sprinkle reserved ½ cup cheddar cheese over the top.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly around the edges.
If you are an organization that provides programs and services to low- income individuals and families, SNAP-Ed classes and programs can be a tool for your clients. Please contact us to schedule a program!
New Castle County
Jaime Sherman, MS, LDN
Community Nutrition Educator-SNAP-Ed
Alicia Vogel, MA, BS
Community Nutrition Educator-SNAP-Ed