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Dairy and Eggs Department

Milk, Milk Alternatives and Cheese

Calcium is the primary nutrition spotlight in the dairy aisle. Milk, cheese and yogurt are all excellent sources of calcium. In the dairy section, you will find many different milk options, usually with different colored caps and labels. The different colors represent different percentages of fat. 

If you prefer not to drink dairy milk, you can find many alternatives to dairy milk such as soy milk, nut milks, and oat milk in the dairy aisle. If you are lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk can also be found in the dairy aisle. Cheese products are available with varying levels of fat as well. 

milk in dairy case

Milk, Milk Alternatives and Cheese: Know Before You Go

  • If you are looking to decrease fat or calories in your milk, you should choose a milk that is labeled as 1% or skim milk. Regardless of which fat percentage you choose, the amount of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients will remain the same.
  • Check the nutrition facts label of dairy alternatives. Each one is different and they will have varying levels of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients.
  • Be mindful of flavored milk and milk alternatives as they often contain added sugar. 
  • If you have a box grater at home, try grating your own cheese from block cheese. This can take a few extra minutes, but is cheaper than buying it pre-shredded.


Greek, plain, fruit on the bottom. There is no shortage of variety in the yogurt aisle. Yogurt is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and protein. Milk sugars called lactose are found in dairy-based yogurts, but some yogurts contain more added sugar than others, especially those marketed toward children. Yogurt is really versatile in your kitchen. It makes a tasty snack and can also be used in many recipes including dips, marinades, sauces, casseroles, and desserts.

Find more information on yogurt and how to substitute yogurt in recipes on Extension’s Nutrition and Wellness blog.

person shopping in refrigerated section of store

Yogurt: Know Before You Go

  • For a more filling snack, look for yogurt that is high in protein, such as Greek yogurt. 
  • Compare labels for added sugar content. It’s ok to choose flavored yogurt with some added sugar but remember to keep your percentage of “Added Sugar” to less than 10% as a general rule. 
  • If you plan to use a lot of yogurt in your house, consider buying larger containers as they are often less expensive per ounce.


Eggs are a great source of protein and fats. While eggs are considered high in cholesterol, it is important to note that high cholesterol foods do not necessarily increase your blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are versatile and a less expensive protein source. They are great as a hearty breakfast when scrambled, fried, or poached. Try tossing some veggies into your scramble for added fiber! You can also hard boil eggs in advance for a quick snack later in the day. 

Omelet with potatoes, cheese and avocado

Eggs: Know Before You Go

  • Always open the carton at the store to check for cracked or broken egg shells.
  • Eggs last longer than many protein sources in the fridge. Keep eggs that are still in their shell for up to three weeks in the fridge. 
  • Eggs come in a few different sizes, so be sure to pick the right size if you plan to use them in recipes. Most recipes call for large eggs.