I have two school-going kids who remain mostly healthy. I say “mostly” because for many months in the year between school and after-school programs they are immersed in an unavoidable cesspool of germs. And those germs eventually wind up home to infect the rest of us. Despite being a staunch feminist I admit I am also the primary provider of meals in the family – read *homemaker.* That means I need wholesome nutritious recipes that will boost my family’s immunity. That’s where dairy products come in.
Gut Health For Kids
If you follow my writing (thank you!) you know that I write about foods that heal and that make us happy. Dairy products are a big part of that happy, gut-healthy diet. Research has proven that fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir contains live bacteria that helps boost our immune system and promotes an overall healthy digestive tract. As a result yogurt is on the menu as often as the kids will have it.
Disclaimer: This post has been written in partnership with #HansDairy and YMC, and I have been compensated for it. The opinion and narrative as always is all mine!
Recently I was offered samples of Hans Dairy products to try. I was delighted to see that this family business run by two sisters takes their all-natural philosophy to heart. They use delicious and simple ingredients and traditional techniques to make innovative food that I’m glad to feed my kids. Products such as smoothies and sweet and salty lassi, yogurt and even rice pudding are made using recipes that help preserve the culture and legacy of their family.
Stomach infections take a toll on kids, and a strong digestive system is the first line of defence. That’s why we need yogurt in our lives. Or as people from South Asia call it – dahi.
3 Reasons Why I add Yogurt to my family’s diet
Traditionally-made yogurt (like the one made by #HansDairy) contains live and active cultures. These have been proven to reduce the frequency of those pesky gastrointestinal infections in children.
Yogurt is also known to contain probiotics which are proven to boost immunity. Should one fall sick, these probiotics are also known to help the body recover faster.
And the third reason – well, my mother says so. There’s a lot that I do that is because I hear my mother’s voice in my head. I wash my face every night, drink water first thing in the morning, and have yogurt every day because my mother says it’s good for me. As my kids grow up I want to pass on healthy habits, and of course blame my mother in the bargain. “Your nani (grandmother) says it’s good for you.”
I’m glad my kids love the slightly tart flavour of yogurt but as it happens they do get bored with food quite easily. So here are some options to switch it up.
3 Ways to add yogurt to the daily menu
Nothing beats a simple bowl of yogurt topped with honey or maple syrup. Delicious with granola or fruit for breakfast, and as a side with lunch or dinner. Normally Indian food is served with yogurt to mellow the spicy flavours. I have tried #HansDairy yogurt in this instance and it works very well due to it’s inherently mild sweetness that comes from it’s traditional way of setting.
Blended with fruit as a smoothie. A great lunch-time or after-school snack, a smoothie is a simple and delicious way to sneak in unpopular fruits. My youngest who does not like mangoes or strawberries on their own will have it in a smoothie.
Sneak it into desserts. This is an all-time favourite with my family, and trust me, it works! I flavour plain yogurt and use it instead of whipped cream or custard in a ton of recipes. I tried this technique with a trifle (in the picture) with the 3.25% regular Hans Dairy yogurt, added in vanilla and sugar, and whipped it. Yummy!
And when in a hurry pre-made smoothies are available on the grocery shelves. I pay close attention to the ingredient list and the sugar content. I was glad to note that Hans Dairy smoothies are free of artificial sugars, flavouring, colouring, and preservatives. The yogurt smoothies also have the Foodland Ontario symbol which means all ingredients are sourced locally in Ontario. Yay for local farmers.
Hans Dairy along with my friends at YMC are offering one lucky winner the chance to win a Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Tracker valued at $230.
Hans Dairy Contest