Lunch inspiration with dairy

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Children and young people need plenty of calcium to build strong bones. In fact, almost every cell in our body uses calcium in some way, including our muscles, nerves and heart. The good news is that it’s easy to add more calcium to lunchboxes.

The Foundation is very lucky to partner with Saputo Dairy Australia (SDA), who produce and distribute many of the dairy brands you know and love, like Devondale, Great Ocean Road, Mersey Valley and more. Leafing through their delicious product range of cheeses, yoghurts and lactose-free milks, we’ve gathered some top ways to boost your lunches with more calcium. Kids (and adults!) will love these simple-to-prepare snacks and bowls layered with creamy, moreish dairy.

Kitchen Garden Program members can learn about milk farmers, dairy workers and cows in our Farms & Market Gardens collection, produced with support from Saputo Dairy Australia. 

Cube it up
The simplest way to add a portion of dairy to your lunch options is to dice up cheddar cheese, feta, home-made labneh balls or even your favourite soft cheese. Pair it with a handful of pita chips or crackers, or simply scatter the cubes over your favourite rice dish or pasta salad.

Add a dash 
For your next leafy salad, swap the oil-based dressing for a zingy dairy-based version to bring your greens to life. A classic ranch dressing, usually made with mayonnaise, is given a lighter touch with yoghurt. Combine 1 cup of yoghurt with half a cup of milk. Whisk in generous amounts of lemon juice, chopped parsley and dill and a shake of garlic powder, salt and cracked pepper.

Match it with crunch
A colourful dip made with a dairy base of yogurt or sour cream adds protein and flavour to your lunch and encourages an extra bite of vegetable crudites. Two of our most popular dips at the Foundation are our cucumber dip with dill and mint and Stephanie Alexander’s beetroot and mustard seed raita from her latest cookbook Fresh

Beetroot raita can be made with fresh beetroot from the garden throughout Spring and the cooler seasons. Add some yoghurt, homegrown chilli, and coriander, and you've got a creamy, tangy companion for your lunch! Download the full recipe here

Soak up the goodness
Little pots of Bircher muesli or chia puddings are a cooling treat for lunch, with plenty of leftovers for breakfast on the go. Prepare the night before by soaking oats or chia seeds in a combination of milk and yoghurt. Ripple in some berries or diced stone fruit for sweetness, then add pepitas or slivered almonds for crunch.

Mini burrito
Burrito (meaning “little donkey”) was named because a burrito can contain a variety of fillings, similar to the way a donkey can carry a large load. Any soft tortilla made from corn or wheat can be filled with rice, black beans, fresh herbs and grilled veggies from your garden. Top the fillings with a sprinkle of cheese and a smear of sour cream before you roll them up into a hand-sized snack. Try our recipe here!

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