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Cartoon Pear pouring milk on cereal

Milk and other dairy products make up a big part of this group. You can get your calcium from non-dairy sources as well, but you may need to eat larger amounts to get a full serving of calcium. Read on to learn how to make the most of your calcium choices!

mom pouring milk into son's cereal bowl

List of Dairy

All fluid milk or milk-alternatives* with added calcium such as soy milk, powdered milk, cheese, lassi, yogurt, kefir, frozen yogurt. 

*Note: some milk alternatives such as nut milks, rice milk, and flax milk may contain adequate calcium when fortified but may lack other nutrients such as protein or magnesium.

woman eating yogurt sitting on couch

Portion Size

1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soy milk, or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese can be counted as 1 cup from the Dairy Group.

woman drinking smoothie by lake

How many servings do you need?

Most adults need around 3 cups of dairy per day. 

Everyone needs a different amount of dairy. This is based on age, sex, height, weight, and amount of physical activity. Dairy needs can also depend on whether a person is pregnant or breastfeeding. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan

Health Benefits of Eating Dairy
  • Calcium is the main nutrient people think of for the dairy group, but dairy foods provide so much more. The dairy group also provides important nutrients like Vitamins A & D, protein, magnesium and vitamin B12. 
  • Dairy foods such as yogurt, milk and fortified milk alternatives provide a good source of potassium, which has heart health benefits.