Viewers took the opportunity on the August 19 episode of Hoard’s Dairyman DairyLivestream to ask registered dietician Yvonne Greer her viewpoint on alternative milk beverages.
Greer spent 22 years working with the Milwaukee Health Department in Wisconsin, a role that included providing guidance and recommendations for the school lunch programs. She now provides nutrition consulting around the city and serves on the board of a food pantry conglomerate. Greer is not from a food production background, but she has experienced nutrition and food distribution from nearly every angle.
It’s with that perspective that she advises her clients who turn to milk alternatives on the shortfalls of those beverages. “There’s a lot of things you’re missing out on if you’re not drinking milk,” she emphasized.
This is especially true for children, which she discusses with parents deciding to feed their families milk alternatives. “I bring up that you have to get an equivalence of protein and vitamins and minerals from whatever you give children,” explained Greer. “Coconut milk and almond milk . . . they don’t have enough protein, so if you’re substituting that to children, they’re not getting the same things they’re getting out of milk.”
That clarification often makes a big difference. “Many times it brings them back to the idea of ‘Well, maybe I should drink some more milk,’” she added.
Greer’s philosophy with nutrition decisions is to meet her clients where they are and determine what concerns are going into their choices. By understanding why they are steering away from milk, she is better able to explain the benefits of dairy and where alternative beverages fall flat. She shared that some of her clients are worried about antibiotics in milk. With that information, she describes the care dairy farmers take for their animals.
“I try to meet people where they’re at and make sure they make an informed choice versus a limited choice,” she summarized.
An ongoing series of events
DairyLivestream will air twice each month for the remainder of this year. The next broadcast will be on Tuesday, September 1 at 11 a.m. CST. Each episode is designed for panelists to answer over 30 minutes of audience questions. If you haven’t joined a DairyLivestream broadcast yet, register here. Registering once registers you for all future events.