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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Moo-ving On

Published in For the Health of It Author: Clara Vancura,RD LD

Explore the Variety of Milk Alternatives

Milk and dairy provide a high source of protein, calcium and other important vitamins and minerals, but they also are the most common allergen for babies and children. Many people also suffer from a lactose (the sugar that is in milk) intolerance. Taking a lactase enzyme or avoiding cow’s milk can help.

If you must avoid milk completely, many grocery stores offer a selection of alternatives to cow’s milk made from rice, nuts, soybeans, coconut, flaxseeds or oats. Flavors may include: original, unsweetened, vanilla or chocolate.

It may take some trial and error to find your preference, but here are some milk options:

  • Almond — mildly nutty flavor, lower in calories than cow’s milk, can be swapped easily in baking recipes
  • Coconut — rich and creamy, light coconut flavor, high in calories, can be swapped easily in baking recipes
  • Cashew — smooth and creamy, lower in calories than cow’s milk, try it in cereal or coffee
  • Flax — nutty flavor and creamy, high in Omega-3s
  • Macadamia — sweet, nutty flavor and creamy, high in Omega-3s
  • Oat — neutral taste, smooth and creamy, try it in your latte or smoothie
  • Rice — neutral taste, good alternative to cow’s milk in cooking
  • Soy — light nutty flavor, protein content is similar to cow’s milk, unlike the other alternatives
  • Walnut — nutty flavor and creamy, high in Omega-3s and higher in protein

Additional things to consider:

  • Don’t just look in the diary section. Some grocery stores may have milk alternatives stocked with their health foods.
  • Pay attention to packaging and storage. Not all need to be refrigerated prior to opening.
  • Be mindful about sugar. Different flavors have variable amounts, which can add up quickly. Learn more about sugar and sugar substitutes.