Recently, when we were on vacation and visiting with family, Tim’s aunt (who is a public health nurse) asked me to do a blog post on including cheese as a healthy snack. Great idea! I cannot believe I didn’t think of it myself.
As a working mom (yes a farmer is considered a working mom) with two young boys I am always looking for healthy, quick snacks. Our favorite snack is a piece of cheese, some sliced fruit and some crackers or popcorn. Often cheese gets a bad wrap for being high in fat and sodium. But cheese offers so many healthy nutrients and now is available in many fat contents and forms.
Cheese contains these vital nutrients*: protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are good for our bodies’ bones, muscles, blood cells, regulates our blood pressure and helps our body convert food into energy.
In a recent survey*, 81% of children ages 6-12 love cheese by itself or on a sandwich. Also, 77% of children liked the fun of string cheese. I have found that my boys love cheese flavors beyond mozzarella or cheddar. The like Gouda, Munster, Pepper-Jack and more. You can have fun with cheese too. You can buy it as whips, curds, blocks shaped as animals and more.
Cheese can also be very inexpensive way to pack a lot of healthy punch into a snack or meal. The best way to buy cheese is in large blocks. I will buy larger blocks, cut them into usable portions and freeze what I am not using. Some cheese varieties freeze better than others. ThriftyFun has a great cheese freezing guide . Also look for string cheese on sale. It freezes very well.
Even with so many great ways to eat cheese and other dairy products nine out ten girls and seven out of ten boys don’t get the calcium they need each day.As a parent I find this disturbing, because I know it is my responsibility to help my children learn what a healthy diet looks like.
So the next time you are at the grocery store stock up on some cheese. In our house you can always find Organic Valley Stringles, Raw Cheddar, and Pepper-Jack. Visit the Organic Valley website to see more cheese varieties, view cheese recipes, learn about purchase locations and also print off some coupons.
Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, http://www.zweberfarms.com
*find more information on the Midwest Dairy Association website