My family gets through a lot of milk, even when I buy as much as the fridge can hold in my weekly shop, I still end up topping up at least twice a week! I still get whole milk for the girls, even though they are well past their toddler years, as they love the creamy taste. For me, it’s semi-skimmed, although I love a big glass of creamy whole milk!
Just over a year ago, after a lot of reading around the subject, I made the commitment that going forward I was only going to buy free-range organic milk. There are lots of reasons that this was the right choice for me, but free-range milk, such as Arla’s whole and semi-skimmed, guarantees that cows are grazed outside whenever possible, and for at least 180 days of the year (and in Arla’s case at least 200 days), and being organic means that the cows graze on grass and clover without any artificial fertilisers or herbicides- this is also great for other wildlife, such as bees! The organic label also guarantees that audited inspections are carried out, and additional standards met on animal welfare and sustainability. Arla is a British farmer-owned co-operative (currently made up of 2,400 farms, 89 of which are organic), which means that all profits go back to the farmers.
Why is organic, free-range milk a healthier option?
Whole, unskimmed milk is one of the most nutritionally complete foods that you can consume, it is full of protein, vitamins and minerals- this is why it is recommended to make up a large part of the diet of young children who are moving away from breast-milk or formula. One 200ml glass of semi-skimmed milk contains 31% of your daily recommended calcium, and 74% of your daily recommended vitamin B12 (contributing to the normal function of your immune system). Considering how much milk my family gets through, it makes sense to commit to this more nutritious option.
How does my family consume milk in a typical day?
Milk is always a feature for us at breakfast, my daughters’ will have either breakfast cereal, or porridge to start the day, and I need my morning cup of tea!
As I work at home, I try to fit in a walk onto the moors by our house every morning in between school drop-off and starting work, and my ‘treat’ is to have my morning coffee once I’ve reached the highest point of the walk- I love sitting and looking out across Devon with a lovely cup of hot coffee, it clears my mind for the day!
Now that summer’s really arrived, and even if the sun’s not shining, the girls come off the school bus hot and sticky, and we have got into the habit of ice-lollies when they get back from school. I bought some new moulds recently to make our own, and have discovered a delicious recipe- passion-fruit whip lollies!
These are so simple to make (you can find the full recipe at the bottom of this post), but also delicious, incredibly refreshing, and healthy! The key is in part-freezing the passion fruit & milk mixture, before whizzing it up in a blender- instead of turning into blocks of solid ice like a lot of homemade lollies, it froths into the most satisfying cool-whip, which you can then mould and freeze (if you can resist eating it all at this stage, it’s got the most incredibly satisfying texture!).
Bedtime milk is still a routine for my girls, even though they aren’t so little any more- it’s always been a part of our evening and storytime, and they find it a calming part of the day to lie and cuddle me, drinking warm milk (and for me, making the most of these moments as they grow up!).
You can find Arla’s award-winning free-range organic milk in larger Sainsbury’s and Morrisons stores.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Arla, all opinions are my own, honest and truthful.