Oats + Dairy = A Powerful Combination
Combining foods can help enhance flavors and boost nutrition. Think: bread + peanut butter, veggies + cheese, fruit + nuts. Each of these combinations pairs a carbohydrate-rich food with protein-rich food, a technique which not only tastes great, but also improves satiety and helps keep you satisfied longer.
Oats (carbohydrate-rich) + Dairy (protein-rich) is a powerhouse combination that delivers important nutrients often lacking in the typical American diet. In fact, only 15% of Americans meet the USDA recommendation for 3 daily servings of dairy, and many Americans are also falling short when it comes to whole grains. Just 1% of Americans meet the recommendation to consume whole grains for at least half of their total grains (recommendations vary based on age, gender, and size).
Understanding serving sizes can help:
- 1 Serving of Dairy = 1 cup of milk or yogurt (8oz), 1.5 oz. of natural cheese, or 2 oz. of processed cheese (an ounce is about the size of your thumb)
- 1 Serving of Whole Grains = 1 cup of whole grain cold cereal, ½ cup of cooked hot cereals such as oatmeal, 1 slice of 100% whole grain bread, or 1 oz. uncooked whole grain pasta or brown rice (about the size of your fist)
Why Pair Oats and Dairy?
Whole grain oats and dairy each have their own unique nutrient profile and provide certain essential nutrients. By pairing them, you fill in the nutrients the other is missing. For example, 1 cup of low-fat milk provides calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium, vitamin A, and protein. Oats provide iron, magnesium, fiber, and other B vitamins. Oatmeal cooked with milk, instead of water, adds 9 essential nutrients and 2.5 times more protein. These nutrients are vital for maintaining a healthy body.
Oats + Milk = Protein + Fiber + 9 Key Nutrients
- Protein for lean muscle
- Fiber for digestive health
- Iron for healthy blood cells
- Calcium, Vitamin D, Phosphorus, Magnesium for strong bones
- Potassium for healthy blood pressure
- Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 for energy metabolism
- Vitamin A for eye and skin health
Why Eat Breakfast
Regular breakfast has been linked to weight control, improved nutrition, and better performance at school. However, 1 in 5 Americans skip breakfast. Those who do eat breakfast often miss out on protein. Incorporating Dairy and Oats at breakfast provides protein, which can help curb mid-morning hunger and keep you satisfied and focused. Also, breakfasts that incorporate milk are associated with a higher intake of calcium, vitamin D and potassium, but not a higher intake of calories, fat, or added sugar. Enjoying oats or other whole grains at breakfast provides many important nutrients, including fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Like protein, fiber also helps maintain satiety. Breakfast is too important to skip, so if you are short on time in the morning, check out some of the recipes below that can be made ahead of time.
Make Oats + Dairy part of your routine:
- Make the switch – cook your oats with milk
- Add oats to your smoothies
- Top your yogurt with granola
- Have a string cheese with you granola bar
- Try the recipes below!
Make Ahead Recipe Idea: Overnight Oatmeal
- ¼ cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup fat-free milk
- ¼ cup low-fat yogurt
- 1 tsp. honey or other sweetener
- ¼ cup applesauce or chopped dried apples
- Pinch of cinnamon
In an 8 oz. (or larger) jar with a lid, combine all ingredients. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Eat chilled.
290 calories; 3.5g fat; 15g protein; 52g carbohydrates; 4g fiber.
Breakfast Recipes and Beyond