Milk moustaches aren't for everyone. Some girls don't eat dairy because of their cultural or religious preferences. Other girls follow a strict vegetarian
diet known as a vegan
diet. Some girls are allergic to milk
or can't digest a sugar in milk called lactose
. And there are girls who just don't like the taste of milk. Whatever your reason for saying no to cow's milk, you can still get the calcium
your body needs. Girls who exercise a lot and don't eat enough calcium are at risk for brittle, prematurely old bones and osteoporosis
. back to top
Are there nondairy kinds of milk?<
Saying no to cow's milk doesn't mean you have to give up creamy soups and sauces, fruit smoothies
, and pudding. You can use rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk in place of cow's milk. You can find low-fat and nonfat versions of these types of milk at the supermarket. back to top
Why eat soy milk and cheese?
Rich and creamy soy milk and yummy soy cheese look like the milk and cheese that come from a cow, but they are lower in fat, cholesterol
, and sodium. Soy cheese comes in varieties like mozzarella and cheddar. You can even find soy milk versions of ice cream, yogurt, pudding, and sour cream. Whatever shape it takes, soy milk can provide the protein
, and B vitamins
your body needs.
Soy milk is made by pressing water through crushed, cooked soybeans. To get the most out of your meal, choose soy milk products that are fortified with calcium
, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Look for soy cheese in the produce or dairy section of your grocery store. Soy milk usually comes in nonrefrigerated boxes and can be found in the health food or beverage section of the supermarket. All soy milk products need to be stored in your refrigerator after they're opened. If your regular grocery store doesn't have soy milk products, look for them in a health food store or an Asian market. back to top
How do I use soy milk and cheese?
You can use soy milk like cow's milk when cooking and baking. You can even sour it by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to make a substitute for buttermilk. Or pour it right out of the box onto your breakfast cereal. Here are some other ideas:
- Make a delicious treat like a banana-orange smoothie using soy milk instead of cow's milk.
- Drink a glass of cold soy milk with a meal or as a snack. (Don't forget it comes in chocolate and vanilla!)
- Use your favorite kind of soy cheese to whip up a yummy snack like cheesy garlic toast. back to top
Green leafy vegetables like arugula, mustard greens, spinach, and bok choy might not come from a cow, but they are great sources of calcium. In fact, one cup of cooked collard greens has more calcium than a glass of milk! So do three sardines with the bones! Sardines aren't for everyone, but you might find yourself asking for seconds when you try veggies that give a boost to your bones.
Here are some tips for enjoying these nondairy, calcium-rich foods:
- Stir-fry those leafy greens with other vegetables and meat or tofu.
- Steam or microwave greens, and eat them as a side dish or as a main dish over rice.
- Stir greens into soups, whether store-bought or homemade.
- Add cooked greens to your favorite pasta sauce. back to top