Dairy Product Taste Test Ideas - Action for Healthy Kids
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Dairy Product Taste Test Ideas

Though we call it a dairy taste test, we know that not all kids eat dairy these days due to allergies, personal preference or family lifestyle choices. Regardless, your school can still host a dairy taste test that appeals to students and families in your community. The key is to feature calcium-rich products, which may include things like low-fat and fat-free white or flavored milk, other dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and non-dairy alternatives such as calicum-fortified soy milk, almond or rice milk. Whatever milk products you serve, make sure it’s low-fat or fat-free for the healthiest option.

Dairy Taste Test Ideas

  • String cheese
  • Cheese with whole grain crackers
  • Yogurt-based dip with veggies
  • Milk or milk alternative (like calcium-fortified soy, rice or almond milk) with whole grain cereal’
  • Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
  • Cheese on whole wheat pizza
  • Cheese with baked potato
  • Cheese on pizza roll-up with whole grain tortilla
  • Flavored, drinkable yogurt
  • Cheesy popcorn made with low-fat cheese
  • Yogurt smoothie made with fruit, yogurt, low-fat milk or milk alternative and 100% fruit juice
  • Yogurt and berries on whole wheat waffles
  • Cheese quesadilla
  • Melted cheese on broccoli
  • Yogurt parfait with granola and fruit
  • Lactose-free white or flavored milk
  • White versus flavored fat-free and low-fat milk
  • Calcium-fortified soy, almond or rice milk

Non-Dairy, Calcium-Rich Foods:

  • Calcium-fortified juices, granola bars or cereals
  • Canned fish (sardines, salmon with bones)
  • Soybeans and other soy products like tofu
  • Leafy greens like collard and turnip greens, kale and bok choy

Extending the Experience: Other Things You Can Do

Mix it with Milk Party

Help students create nutritious alternatives to soft and juice drinks with a Mix It with Milk or Milk Alternatives party. With a blender, selected dairy products and selected fruits on hand, you can help students make fun milk/milk alternative creations.

Mustache Photo Contest

This popular event is a great way to encourage kids to drink more milk or milk alternatives — and can be held as a stand-alone event or as a fun companion event to dairy taste tests. Kids, of course, will want to have their photos taken — but if the principal, school nurse, teachers, parents and others pose for photos too, the contest becomes even more fun!

Use an instant camera or a digital camera. Then print photos and post them around the cafeteria or in the school corridors. Alternatively, you could post photos on your school’s website or social media pages.

A fun extension is to have participants write captions for their photos. Ask them to write a sentence or two about why they drink milk or milk alternatives.

Pro-Tip: Fool-proof milk mustaches
To ensure that participants have great milk mustaches, try one of the following:

  • Place about 3 tablespoons of whipped cream in a small disposable cup. Participants can dip their top lip into the cup or use clean hands to apply their own unique milk mustache. Make sure you use a clean cup and fresh whipped cream for each participant.
  • In a blender, mix 3 parts low-fat or fat-free vanilla ice cream with 1 part milk (you can also use a dairy-free ice cream and a milk alternative like rice milk). The resulting drink should be slightly thick so that it will stay on the participant’s upper lip. Pour the mixture into small cups. Just before the photo is taken, the participant should hold the cup up to her mouth and tip it back while keeping her head still. Make sure he/she keeps his/her mouth closed as he/she “drinks on her mustache.”

Inclusion Tips

Allergies, Sensitivities and Dairy Preferences
Let parents know in advance you’ll be hosting a dairy taste test. If appropriate, ask them to sign permission slips verifying that their children do not have known allergies or sensitivities to milk and milk products. If you’re offering milk alternatives like almond milk or soy milk, confirm nut and soy allergies as well. If students with allergies or sensitivities are identified, make sure that all staff and volunteers involved with the taste test events are aware of these students. Consider offering lactose-free milk and hard cheese (which is low lactose) as alternatives for students that have allergies or sensitivities or rice milk as an alternative.

Categories: Meals & Nutrition