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Dairy Foods List

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

What Foods are Considered as Dairy?

The list isn't as extensive as one might think. It includes: milk - which is a complete protein, cheese - another complete protein, and yogurt.

Daily Dairy Group Recommendations for Adults & Children

Your body requires from 2-3 servings per day.

For adults, that equals 3 cups of milk daily for both men and women.

For children ages 2-3, the recommendation is 2 cups daily.

For children 4-8 years of age, they require 2 cups of milk daily for total nutrition from this Food Group.

What is a Serving Size?


This is equal to 2-3 cups of milk, 1 half-pint container, cup of evaporated milk.


1 cup of yogurt from single serving containers, 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces of the liquid type yogurts.


1 ounces of hard cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss,  parmesan, 1/3 cup of shredded cheese, 2 ounces of American processed cheese, cup of ricotta cheese, 2 cups of cottage cheese.

A cup serving of cottage cheese is equal to cup of milk. A slice of processed cheese is equal to 1/3 cup of milk. One slice of hard cheese is equal to cup of milk.

Milk-Based Desserts

1 cup of pudding prepared with milk, 1 cup of frozen yogurt, 1 cups of ice cream. One scoop of ice cream is equal to 1/3 cup of milk.

Soy Milk, Soy Beverage

1 half-pint container of calcium-fortified soy milk.

Dairy Food Group Subsets

The Dairy Group is broken down into several subgroups.

Milk Subgroup

Includes fat-free [skim], low fat [1%], reduced fat [2%], whole milk, flavored milks such as chocolate and strawberry, lactose-free and lactose-reduced milks.

Milk-Based Desserts Subgroup

Puddings, ice milk, ice cream, frozen yogurt.

Calcium-Fortified Soy Beverage Subgroup

Soy milk.

Cheese Subgroup

Hard natural cheeses, soft cheese and processed cheese.

Yogurt Subgroup

Includes all yogurt such as fat-free, low fat, reduced fat and whole milk yogurt - both in solid and liquid forms.

Foods Often Incorrectly Assumed as Dairy


Sour Cream

Cream Cheese

All of the above foods are so excessive in fatty acid values that they are excluded from the United States Agricultural Department's official Food Pyramid. They do not reside in any of the Basic 5 Food Groups. However, there is a side recommendation labeled as 'Minimal Fats' and these products would easily slide into this dedicated slot.

Calories, Nutrition Facts in Dairy Foods

Whole Milk - 3.25% Milk Fat

Heavy Cream

Vanilla  Ice Cream

Light Cream

Mother's Milk


Chocolate Milk

Yogurt, Whole Milk

Goat Milk


Yogurt, Low Fat

Non-Dairy Creamer, Powdered

Half & Half


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