Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Horizon Organic -- The Leading Organic Dairy Brand in the US (Back to School Tips and Product Review)

Recently, Horizon®, the leading organic dairy brand in the U.S., ran a Back-to-School campaign, where they shared tools and tips designed to help parents get their kids off to a nutritious start as they headed back to the classroom. The tools ranged from advice on back to school healthy eating habits and food choices, to an online community for parents to connect and discuss back to school topics.  In addition, they also shared the following Top 10 Best Back to School Foods:
Top 10 Best Back to School Foods:

 1.    Organic Milk

With only 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 4 boys meeting their calcium needs[ii], it’s important to keep calcium-rich foods front and center in kids’ diets. Organic milk, which is produced without the use of antibiotics, toxic synthetic pesticides or artificial growth hormones, is a great choice for lunchboxes and breakfast time. Horizon makes convenient single serve milk boxes that pack perfectly into lunchboxes and provide a nutrient-rich alternative to juice drinks and other nutrient-poor beverages. In addition, Horizon organic milk with DHA omega-3 is a good choice for breakfast beverages or paired with low-sugar, whole grain cereals. DHA omega-3 has been shown to support brain, heart and eye health[iii][iv][v].

2.    Whole Grain Bread

The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines[vi] recommend that at least half of our grains be whole grains, so choosing whole grains for lunchbox sandwiches and wraps is a smart strategy to boost fiber and other important nutrients. One good choice is Rudi’s Organic Bakery’s 14 Grain Bread. With just three slices you get the daily recommended allowance of whole grains.

3.    Trail Mix Fixings

A variety of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, raisins, dates), nuts[vii] (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios) and cereal (look for those high in fiber and low in sugar) can combine into one hearty snack-on-the-go for kids. Plus, you can make an activity out of letting your kids create their very own one-of-a-kind mix.

4.    Nut Butter

Peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter – they’re all great for lunchtime sandwiches or on toast for an after-school snack.7

5.    Hummus

This protein-packed spread comes in a wide variety of flavors and even in single-serve packs for kids on-the-go. You can try it as a dip for veggies and whole-grain crackers or as a spread on wraps and sandwiches as a nutritious alternative to mayonnaise or dressing.

6.    Granola Bars

Granola bars can be a lower-sugar, higher-fiber alternative to cookies and candy bars. They are also great as after-school or after-sports snacks. Look for granola bars made with whole grains and with 10 grams of sugar or less. One bar that fits this criteria is Annie’s Organic Berry Berry Granola Bars. Each bar is packed with 8 grams of whole grain per serving, is certified organic and contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup. They’re a perfect snack to replace high-sugar treats.

7.    Turkey Breast

Turkey breast is low in fat and high in protein, and it can be a crowd pleaser in the lunchroom! You can also get creative with turkey as part of after-school snacks – think turkey and cheese roll-ups.

8.    String Cheese

Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. If your child isn’t a meat eater, cheese is another high-protein option for lunches and snack time. String cheese is a great way to help your kids play with their food by pulling apart the cheese – and they will love munching on it too.

9.    Fruit, Fruit, Fruit

Apples, cherries, bananas, oranges, grapes – fruits are an important part of a well-balanced diet. Try and vary what you offer. Different fruits provide different nutrients. When looking for organic fruit options, check out Earthbound Farm, which offers a number of organic fruit products nationwide, ranging from apple slices to strawberries to grapes, citrus and blueberries.

10.  Veggies, Veggies, Veggies

Veggies like carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, pea pods and cherry tomatoes are all great for lunchboxes and after-school snacks. Remember, the darker the veggie, the more nutritious it tends to be. To spice veggies up, you can think about serving them with a low fat salad dressing or hummus as a dip. In addition to organic fruit, Earthbound Farm also offers a full range of organic veggie products.

My Thoughts on Horizon Organic:

Even though my daughter is not in school yet, she is transitioning to whole milk and table food, so I am more conscious of the meals I cook and the milk I buy at the store.  Horizon Organic graciously sent me a couple coupons, so that I could try out their amazing product line with family, especially my daughter, Savannah.  So, with coupons in hand, I headed to my local grocery store and picked up a 1/2 gallon of whole milk and their Blueberry Wave Tuberz yogurt tubes. 

We have had a difficult time in transitioning Savannah to milk, as she still prefers her formula.  Even though I have been watering down her formula and introducing whole milk to her, we still find it difficult for her to switch.  But, since picking up the half gallon of Horizon Organics whole milk, I am noticing that Savannah prefers this brand over other we have tried.  She is still hesitant at times to drink whole milk, but I do notice that she is taking the Horizon brand.  And, with a splash of flavored syrup, she guzzles down a bottle of Horizon milk in a flash. 

As for the yogurt, I think Savannah enjoyed being able to hold the Tuberz tube herself, like a big girl and squeeze this tasty yogurt into her mouth.  I am so glad I was able to sample HOrizon Organic products and can see why they are the leading organic dairy brand in the US.  From now on, I will be buying this brand for our dairy needs.

About Horizon Organic

Horizon is committed to providing great-tasting, organic dairy products that nourish families and build healthy foundations. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Horizon is proud to be an organic industry pioneer and the first company to supply organic milk nationally. Over the past 20 years, Horizon has grown to become not only the leading organic dairy brand in the U.S., but the largest national organic brand in the country. Today, Horizon works with more than 600 family farmers across the country to supply 94 percent of its organic milk. Horizon offers a delicious variety of certified organic dairy products made with simple ingredients and produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones or pesticides. In an effort to protect the earth and its natural resources, Horizon offsets the energy used to produce its products with clean, renewable wind power. For more information about Horizon, visit www.horizonorganic.com. Horizon is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Horizon and Twitter at http://twitter.com/horizondairy.

Disclosure:  I was sent coupons to try Horizon Organic products for free, in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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