Best Bones Forever

Want a beautiful smile, strong bones, and a healthy waistline? We uncover the food your body needs to do just that – complete with delicious recipes to inspire.

We all know calcium is important for strong bones, with dairy foods being one of the richest sources. But a glass of milk or tub of yoghurt does more for your body than just keep your skeleton strong. Firstly it keeps your teeth in top condition. Dairy foods contain special anti-decay nutrients including casein, calcium and phosphorus, which create a protective film over the surface of the tooth preventing decay. That fact alone should make you smile, but there’s more. Dairy foods are also a rich source of protein, which increases satiety and can help manage your weight as part of a calorie controlled diet.

The recommended dietary intake of calcium is 1,000mg per day for adults, which equates to roughly two to three serves of dairy products. Integrating these foods into your diet is as simple as milk on your cereal, a few slices of cheese at lunch, and yoghurt as an afternoon snack.

Healthy Bones Action Week (3rd August – 9th August) calls on Australians of all ages to take the three actions to build and maintain healthy bones:

  1. Increase daily serves of calcium through dairy-based foods (milk, cheese or yoghurt), calcium-fortified soy products, fish with bones (e.g. sardines), almonds, broccoli.
  2. Committing to some form of daily regular physical activity and weight bearing exercise.
  3. Safe sun exposure to get more vitamin D.

Here are some calcium-charged recipe inspiration, courtesy of The Dairy’s Kitchen including homed chai latte, Creamy Carrot and Coriander Soup and Kale, Feta and Pumpkin Pie.

Homemade Chai Latte

What you need

  • 2 teaspoons black tea leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Combine all the spices to create a Chai Latte Mix. At this stage mix can be stored for up to a month in a sealed jar.
  • Heat milk in a small saucepan or microwave until just below boiling point. Turn off heat, add spice mix and allow to infuse until for 3-5 minutes. Stir in honey and strain out spices. Pour into tea cups and serve immediately.

Creamy Carrot and Coriander Soup with Parmesan Toasts 

What you need

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 500g carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • Parmesan Toasts
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated cheddar Cheese

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cumin, sauté for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Add carrot and stock, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat and process with a stick blender until smooth. Return to heat and stir in milk and coriander. Reheat gently until warmed through. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

2. For Parmesan Toasts: Grill bread on one side until golden. Turn over top with combined cheeses and grill until cheese is bubbly and brown. Serve warm with soup.

Kale, Feta and Pumpkin Pie

What you need

  • 300g (2 cups) peeled, cubed pumpkin (1cm x 1cm)
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/4 bunch kale, shredded (3 cups)
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 100g feta, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 4 sheets filo pastry
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitas), optional

1. Spray pumpkin with olive oil and scatter over a baking paper lined oven tray. Bake at 220C for 20-30 minutes for until lightly golden and cooked through.

2. Place kale in a microwave safe bowl with 1 tablespoon water and microwave for 1 minute or until slightly wilted.Combine pumpkin, kale, spring onions, eggs, milk, feta and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Layer filo sheets in alternating pattern (lengthwise and widthwise), into a 1 litre baking dish, spraying between each layer with olive oil.

3. Pour filling into pastry and fold over excess pastry to enclose pie. Spray with extra oil spray and top with pumpkin seeds. Bake at 200°C for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through and set.