Food Groups - Dairy
Food Groups Continued...
The dairy group is the next page in this article series on the MyPlate
groups of food.
This group is often called the milk group.
It includes milk products as well as products made from milk.
Cheeses, yogurts and milk based desserts are part of the dairy group.
In order to qualify as a food item in this group it must retain it's
calcium content when made from milk.
Items like cream cheese and butter do not qualify for this group.
This group is represented by a circle in the MyPlate graphic. This
illustrates a glass of milk included with your meal.
However, you will often get your milk items in through foods and not a
fluid milk products and many foods prepared with milk are included in
this food group.
Calcium fortified soy milk is also part of this group.
If a food item made from milk retains the calcium
content, then it is included in this group,
However, items that
have little or no calcium content are not part of this group. Items
cream cheese, cream and butter are not part of the dairy food group.
You want to aim for fat free or reduced fat products for this food
group to minimize fat and calories.
Here are some examples of items in the category.
Fat Free Milk
Reduced Fat Milk (1% and 2%)
Flavored Milk (chocolate, strawberry, etc.)
Calcium Fortified Soymilk
Hard Natural Cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, parmesan)
Soft Cheese (ricotta, cottage cheese)
Processed Cheeses (American)
Fat Free Yogurt
Low Fat Yogurt
Reduced Fat Yogurt
Whole Milk Yogurt
While this food group is not part of the plate in the image, you can
get your servings through a glass of milk or items that can be placed
on your plate like cheeses or yogurts.
Here are the recommended daily servings for the dairy group.
For those items, such as cheese, yogurt, puddings, etc. that are not
liquid, here is a guideline for what constitutes a cup.
Yogurt - 1 regular container (8 oz) would be equivalent to 1 cup. A
snack size container (4 oz) = 1/2 cup and a small container (6 oz) =
Cheese - 1 1/2 oz hard cheese, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, 2 oz processed
cheese, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese and 2 cups cottage cheese would be
equivalent to 1 cup serving.
Milk Based Desserts - 1 cup of pudding or frozen yogurt would be a 1
cup dairy serving. 1 1/2 cups of ice cream would be the equivalent to 1
Here's more on the recommended portion sizes based on the food pyramid food
Get in two of the different food groups with this fun and tasty recipe. Alternating different cheeses and fruits give this snack lots of
Use these tips to build your plate into a healthy meal. Eating healthy can ensure you get all the vitamin and minerals your
Get your daily recommended dairy, fruits, veggies and more with these
foods. Not only are you getting the recommended amounts, you will burn more fat
with these foods.