By Mary Lynne Hixson, MA, RD
With May designated as National Mediterranean Diet month, Flourish with Food initiated a focus on its components in 2021. A year later, this feature pivoted only slightly to the MIND diet, which prioritizes green leafy vegetables daily and berries over other fruits.
Both the MIND and Med approaches promote plant-based foods, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods lend themselves to milky beverages through water processing and straining out solids. Thickeners and emulsifiers are added, along with other ingredients to enhance the nutrition profile and flavor.
Behind the refrigerated milk doors, shoppers commonly find soy, almond, cashew, hemp, rice, flax, and/or oat milks. These milks vary in taste, thickness, and nutrition.
Plant-based milks are not recommended for babies in the first year of life. For guidance on serving nondairy milks to children: (1) https://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/things-parents-should-know-about-non-dairy-milks, (2) https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/feeding/breastfeeding/toddler-formula-vs-milk-whats-best/
Upsides of plant-based milks
Downsides of plant-based milks
About Mary Lynne Hixson, MA, RD:
Mary Lynne, a registered dietitian, helps others enhance their health through the advocacy of nutrient-rich food choices and safe food-handling practices. Her expertise also includes counseling patients who have Type 2 diabetes and advising those who are in medically managed weight loss programs. After her 35+ year career, she retired and became involved with the launch of Harvest of Hope Pantry in 2012 as a Board of Directors member. Mary Lynne is a weekly volunteer with Cultivate’s Carry-Out Caravan program, shopping and delivering groceries to seniors in the Boulder area, and also a frequent volunteer with Harvest of Hope.
Help seniors flourish by reconnecting them—as recipients and contributors—with their surrounding communities.