July Ice Cream Month - St. Louis District Dairy Council.

ST. LOUIS - Looking for a tasty way to beat the summer heat? Look no further, as July happens to be National Ice Cream Month. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan deemed ice cream to be “the perfect dessert” and declared a month-long celebration of the delicious dairy treat. Thirty-seven years later, ice cream is still celebrated as a perfect companion to tackle summer heat. Whether it is an ice cream sundae after a long day at the pool, an ice cream sandwich at a ball game, or a few scoops in a bowl after a day in the office, the options to celebrate Ice Cream Month are endless.

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Did you know the average American consumes 23 pounds of dairy dessert each year? Ice cream has evolved over the years and includes many different treats and flavors, making it hard to choose just one. The classic tried-and-true vanilla flavor still holds the top spot when it comes to consumers’ favorite flavor. Vanilla ice cream’s ability to be incorporated into a variety of sweet treats and desserts gives it an advantage in versatility. Rounding out the top five are chocolate, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, and cookie dough. However, new varieties show up regularly in the ice cream case, and refreshing tastes and textures capture the attention and taste buds of consumers. These include trendy flavors and ingredients, such as honey blueberry lavender, matcha, and even ginger.

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The pure enjoyment of ice cream is not the only benefit of the frozen treat. Because ice cream’s main ingredient is milk, it has a place in a healthy diet. “Milk contains calcium, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals that support the body and its functions,” Maggie Cimarolli, Nutrition Educator with the St. Louis District Dairy Council states. Although ice cream’s nutrients are found in less abundant amounts than those in milk, cheese, and yogurt, they do give ice cream a slight nutritious edge when compared with other desserts.

There is something for everyone when it comes to fitting ice cream into a healthy diet. Low-fat and low-sugar versions are available so consumers can realistically meet their individual nutrition goals. “Be sure to check the nutrition label to see how this treat can be incorporated into your eating plan,” states Cimarolli.

St. Louis District Dairy Council encourages everyone to take the time to celebrate Ice Cream Month. Whether visiting a local shop to try a new flavor, heading to the grocery store to grab ingredients for ice cream sundae night, or keeping it simple with a delightful milkshake, the possibilities are endless for enjoying the frozen treat. Be sure to follow the St. Louis Dairy Council on Instagram and Facebook @STLDairyCouncil to get the scoop on special days this July Ice Cream Month!

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