Trick or Treat – Smell My Feet – Give Me Something Healthy to Eat!

Halloween brings out the kid in all of us. It’s fun to get dressed up in a costume and parade around the neighborhood or go to a party. Treats are a part of the fun. However, treats don’t have to be sticky, gooey candy. The words “healthy” and “Halloween” don’t appear to fit together in the same sentence but can! If you are the type of mom who is concerned that Halloween isn’t the most nutritionally healthy night for your children, there are some steps you can take to help minimize the “candy craze”.

Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Happy Chocolate Day!

By Mary Nicholson 

What holiday will be celebrated this month that revolves around the wonderful world of chocolate?  If you said Halloween, I’d have to give you the buzzer and say, “No!”  Even though October 31 includes plenty of chocolate in my trick-or-treating goodies, October 28 is actually National Chocolate Day.  So you can start celebrating early!

Chocolate is created from cocoa, thought to have originated in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago.  Many archeological sites find evidence of cacao beverages from the residue found in ceramic vessels.  Since sugar was not yet created, but bitterness of the cocoa was mixed with different spices to make it palatable.   Seeds from the cocoa tree were even used as currency at one time.

Today, chocolate is readily available in many varieties and forms.  From mini- chocolate chips to elegant chocolate candies, there is something for just about every chocolate lover’s palate.  Having had the opportunity years ago to attend the National Restaurant Association’s Food Show, I was dumbstruck at the intricate sculptures on display there that were made out of chocolate. Who knew that something so tasty could be used as an art form?  Well, perhaps you did, but that was a long time ago when I was pretty naïve!

Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, I believe I will celebrate National Chocolate Day with a nice cup of cocoa.  Here’s a recipe from the good folks at Hershey that’s simple enough for kids to make:  If you’ve got a little more time, here are some interesting cocoa recipes from the Food Network’s Alton Brown:   I don’t plan on keeping my celebrating to just one day, especially when there are 364 others in which to enjoy chocolate’s yumminess.  But on National Chocolate Day, I believe I will raise my glass (of chocolate milk, of course!) to the wonders of chocolate!

Let’s Make Our Tailgating Fun But Nutritious!

By DeDe Hausmann

When we think of attending college and professional football games, foods that can be enjoyed via TAILGATING immediately come to mind.   It’s fun to get together with buddies before the BIG GAME and food always comes into play.

When planning the menu, you DO know that nutrition and good tasting can go hand-in-hand?  RIGHT?!!!!  Many might be trying to live a more healthy lifestyle so who wants to blow it on the weekend?!!!!  There are many great foods/beverages that are very tasty and still can be nutritious.

When thinking of meat or protein foods, think LEAN.  Many sausages and other processed meat products are produced in reduced-fat varieties.  READ PACKAGE LABELS before purchasing and try to go with those that are lower in fat, such as chicken or turkey sausages, brats, etc.  How about grilling turkey burgers?

I bet your friends won’t even know the difference.  Buy whole grain buns or tortillas to serve with your burgers or brats.  Other foods high in protein include cottage cheese and Greek yogurt and these can be made into great fruit and veggie dips.

Speaking of fruits and vegetables, have loads available.  Keep them icy cold and serve with dairy dips.   OR spread a whole-wheat tortilla with a yogurt/seasoning  mixture, add bits or thin slices of broccoli, carrots, and cucumbers, top with shredded low-fat cheese and then place another tortilla on top.  Heat, cut into quarters, and ENJOY!!!!  Ever try grilled fruit?  Grill over low heat pineapple, apple, banana or pear slices dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg.  YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE FLAVOR!!!  Or grill fruit kabobs and serve with vanilla yogurt as a dip.


Are you salivating yet?!!!!  Since it’s fall what better time to serve cold or hot Apple Cider besides those other beverages that TV seems to think are necessities for tailgating.  Also consider serving reduced-fat CHOCOLATE MILK, either hot or cold, for those that love chocolate but don’t need additional calories and care about nutrition—hey, it’s packed with 9 essential nutrients so go for it!!!!  Make sure to have lots of water available.

Dessert anyone?  If you serve treats, make servings SMALL.   If someone is really craving a sweet, they might be able to satisfy that urge with a mini brownie, cupcake, etc.

See, TAILGATING can be fun and still be nutritious.  Don’t tell your guests how healthy they are eating and just let the compliments fly before you surprise them with YOUR SECRET: what they are enjoying is good for them!!!  You’ll be the host/hostess with the MOSTEST!!!

Fall is in the air—Please Pass the Cocoa!

I remember a few years ago a friend brought her five young children out to ride the horses at our place in the country.  After the ride, one of the little boys took me aside and said, ‘you know what would really be nice?  If you made us cocoa!’  How do you pass up an offer like that?  You bet we all had cocoa!

Whether you’re talking about a hot cup of cocoa, cold glass of milk, creamy yogurt, or flavorful cheese, dairy foods taste great and offer a powerful nutritional punch. And those with lactose intolerance don’t have to miss out on the enjoyment or health benefits of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.

Different people can handle different amounts of lactose, and there’s a solution to meet most needs in the dairy case – from lactose-free milk to dairy foods that are typically easier to digest. For example, aged cheeses are naturally lower in lactose and many yogurts contain live and active cultures which help digest lactose.

Now that fall is in the air, we want cocoa just like my little friend.  The following recipes are from , a site dedicated to providing solutions for those dealing with lactose intolerance.  I’ve tried these recipes and think you’ll like them.  I love milk and don’t want you to miss out on these satisfying hot drinks.  I hope you will find the Bittersweet cocoa and Cappuccino to your liking whether or not you have issues with lactose because lactose free milk is simply real milk without lactose.

Bittersweet Cocoa


  • ⅓ cup unsweetened
    cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 6 cups LACTAID® Fat
    Free Milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet
    chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Marshmallows
  • Grated bittersweet
    chocolate (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan
    stir together the cocoa powder and sugar. Stir in the LACTAID® Fat Free Milk
    and chopped bittersweet chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated
    through and chocolate is melted. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Serve immediately
    topped with marshmallows and grated chocolate, if desired.



  • 1 cup LACTAID® Fat
    Free Milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup prepared coffee,
    regular or decaffeinated
  • Ground cinnamon for


  • Heat or microwave
    LACTAID® Fat Free Milk for 1½ minutes or until hot.
  • Pour LACTAID® Fat Free
    Milk and sugar into a blender, cover and blend for 1 minute.
  • Pour coffee into 2
    cups. Top each with foamy LACTAID® Fat Free Milk mixture and sprinkle with

Staff Spotlight: Meet Susan Stern

What do you do at Indiana Dairy?

I am the receptionist for Indiana Dairy. I am the ‘smiling voice’ you will hear when you contact us or the ‘smiling face’ you will see when you enter our office building.   I work with the entire office to handle everything that goes on behind the scenes. I gather and ship educational and promotional materials to farmers, educators and health professionals. The materials are used for a variety of events. The events can range anywhere from County fairs and Ag Days, farm tours, to college education programs. We also provide resources to many hospitals and schools around the state.  I get to interact with all of our employees and feel we are truly blessed to have a great group of people working here at the American Dairy Association of Indiana.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Every day is different and my job continues to be a learning experience.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I grew up in the town of Lapel and have lived in that area most of my life.  My husband and I have two grown children and six grandchildren.  It is a delight to watch my children as adults raise their families. To be a part of my children’s and grandchildren’s life is an utmost pleasure. Our family gets to spend some of our free time enjoying the water in northern Indiana at our lake home.

Tell us a little about someone who has influenced your life and why?

Many family and friends have been an influence over the years. My Mom has been one of the greatest influences and has been a very special person in my life.

Do you have a favorite recipe or restaurant to share?

If you are ever in Lapel, you will have to stop by The Bulldog Corner. It is located in the heart of Lapel has great food. I recommend the breaded tenderloin sandwich.

National Food Bank Week

A critical component to a healthy life is nutrition.  The intake of vital nutrients is essential to the growth and development of a healthy individual. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation.  In 2009, more than 12 percent of Indiana households were unable to provide enough food for themselves and their families. For more stats visit this link. Last year, one in six Hoosiers was at risk of not having enough to eat, and the rate for Hoosier children was as high as one in four. Do you have a little extra food or time to spare this week? Volunteering and donating to those who are in need are a great way to celebrate National Food Bank Week.

What is a food bank? A food bank can be the storehouse for millions of pounds of food and other products that go out to the community. The pantry functions as the arms that reach out to that community directly. Food banks and food pantries—they are not the same. But they share the same commitment. If you are unsure how to help, a good place to start is to find a food bank in your area. Click here to find a food bank.

This week donate what’s in your cupboard, organize a Food Drive or get the ball rolling to volunteer somewhere. Encourage others to contribute by donating food, time, money or other helpful support.   Give today for you may need to receive tomorrow.

Dictionary Day

By Diane Ruyack

Did you know that October 16th, the birthday of Noah Webster was Dictionary Day in America?   Show you’re appreciation for this most useful of reference books by learning some new words, learn how dictionaries came to be.  After 27 years of labor In 1783, Noah Webster created what is considered to be the first dictionary of America.  He thought Americans should have their own distinctly American (rather than British) way of spelling, pronouncing, and using words. But at that time, Americans in different regions had no unifying standard of language. Webster’s dictionary was the first step in changing that. It had 70,000 words in it. It’s no accident that National Dictionary Day is on Noah Webster’s birthday! He is the father of the American dictionary. How do you define nutrition and calorie?

Continue reading