By Michelle Tchea

Do you say errw to vegetables?

Do you hate the smell of plain milk in the morning?
Especially if your mum tells you to drink more than two glasses a day?

Mum’s and Dad’s always say that fruit and vegetables are great for you. But how do they make us healthy? And what is the deal with milk? How can drinking just two glasses a day build strong bones and teeth?

Believe me! Milk is great for you because there is something special in it called Calcium. Calcium is important for kids and grown-ups. It can build strong bones to climb monkey bars and it also makes you strong teeth so that you can eat delicious things like Pink Cupcakes with Chocolate Sauce! Milk and yogurt are part of the diary family so they are very good for growing kids.

So the next time someone asks you what you want to drink – scream MILK please!

Try these delicious recipes with your mum and dad and GET TOUGH with MILK!

For mum’s and dad’s:

The next time your child screams out for a cool drink – don’t reach for a sugary drink but rather a tall glass of fresh milk. Calcium is a key mineral found in milk and other dairy products and has been well proven as a key ingredient to a growing child’s health. However, for many parents, the arduous task to encourage kids to drink milk without sweetened chocolate syrup or powders during the day may seem increasingly difficult… but with a few clever tricks in the kitchen your kids will be demanding more of this health packed drink.

What is the importance of Calcium in my child’s diet?

Calcium is the most important mineral for kids. It is known as the building block for the health and development of strong and healthy bones and teeth. As a toddler, your kids need to build up calcium stores to ensure they have enough of this mineral for their teen years. Calcium in the body ensures good health, better eating habits and also stronger bones as an adult and being less prevalent to osteoporosis. The recommended amount of calcium for kids by the Canadian Health Government is 1000mg per day, 2 cups a day.

Fun Fruity smoothie

A double dose of calcium found in both milk and yogurt – paired with the health benefits of fresh fruit and sweetened with natural honey. Your kids will love this recipe.

  • 1 banana, chopped
  • A handful of strawberries
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry flavoured yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

In a blender, place the banana and strawberries together with the milk.
Add the strawberry yogurt and a good drizzle of yogurt.
Blend until smooth. Serve chilled

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smoothie:
Recipe adapted from Building a Perfect Meal by Michelle Tchea

  • 2 Tablespoons of natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon Peanut Butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Optional but recommended: Chocolate syrup to serve

Blend all ingredients in a smoothie and enjoy. Drizzle extra chocolate syrup if desired.

Mini Pink Cakes with Special Gooey Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 12 small cakes
Full of healthy vegetables that you can’t really taste and full of diary goodness.
This recipe is adapted and made ‘kid friendly from’ Building a Perfect Meal ‘ by Michelle Tchea

To make the pink cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • A small pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated beetroot (from about 4 medium round beetroots – fresh)
  • Special gooey Chocolate Sauce (see recipe below) to serve

Get a grown up to help turn on the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.
Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with your favourite paper liners.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla.
Stir in beetroot. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture mixing until well combined.
Divide among muffin tin with a big spoon.
Bake in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
The cake is ready when you can smell them or when you insert a toothpick and it comes out.
Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Don’t burn your fingers!
Top each cupcake with lots of special chocolate gooey sauce!

Special Gooey Chocolate Sauce

  • Thickened cream 280 ml (91/3 fl oz)
  • Dark chocolate 250 g (9 oz), chopped

Prepare chocolate ganache. Heat cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until just hot. Pour cream over the chocolate and leave, untouched, to immerse for 3 minutes, and then stir to combine