Hilary Walentuk MS, RD, LDN

❤ Healthy Dairy

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate our loved ones with chocolate, candy and cheesy cards, but it also falls in the middle of American Heart Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease. In America, heart disease remains the number one cause of death and nearly one in three people have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Lifestyle habits, including diet and physical activity, are an important part of any plan to achieve and maintain heart health.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan includes 2 to 3 daily servings of dairy foods and 8 to 10 daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Why dairy? Dairy foods play a key role in DASH because they contain calcium, potassium and magnesium, minerals that help to maintain healthy blood pressure aka protect your heart!

For-Your-Honey Breakfast Panini

From Milk Life

Start your day off right by treating yourself and your honey with this easy breakfast panini. The combination of fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats pairs perfectly with a glass of nutrient-rich milk.

Photo credit: www.milklife.com

Raspberry Yogurt Cups with Clementine Hearts

From Healthy Seasonal Recipes

These adorable yogurt cups from Team Dairy New England blogger Katie Webster are sure to appeal to kids and adults alike. Just like milk, a serving of yogurt provides key nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Did you know, yogurt can be a great dairy option for those that have lactose intolerance because its live and active cultures help with digestion and it naturally has less lactose per serving than milk?

Photo credit: www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com

Sweetheart Strawberries

Sweetheart Strawberries for your sweetheart! Keep their heart healthy with yogurt and antioxidant-rich strawberries and dark chocolate.

Cheese and Chocolate Pairings

From Cabot Creamery

Cheese is such a versatile food, no wonder it pairs perfectly with chocolate! Our friends at Cabot Creamery put their taste buds to the test and developed a list of all-star combinations. Looking to lower the sodium in your diet? Try: Swiss, Monterey Jack, ricotta, port de salut or parmesan (1 Tbsp). Also try lower sodium varieties of Colby-Jack, provolone, muenster, mozzarella or cheddar.

Photo credit: www.cabotcheese.coop

 

Still looking for other ways to impress your loved ones this Valentine’s Day? Check out 5 Ways to Turn Plain Yogurt into Dessert from Food52 or Must Be The Milk’s recipe page, which includes fan-favorite Unicorn Bark! ❤

Hilary Walentuk MS, RD, LDN

Hilary is a registered dietitian and Nutrition Specialist for New England Dairy & Food Council. She works with schools in Central and Southeastern Massachusetts to implement Fuel Up to Play 60, the Dairy Council’s in-school healthy eating and physical activity program. In her free time, Hilary can often be found on the hiking trails. When not on the trails, Hilary is usually in the kitchen experimenting with recipes, often involving dairy! Sound like someone you want to get to know? Contact Hilary at hwalentuk@newenglanddairy.com.