Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives (mostly reduced-fat) food group

 

Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives (mostly reduced-fat) form one of the five food groups that make up a balanced diet. They can play an important role in achieving good nutrition throughout both childhood and adulthood. 

There are many established health benefits associated with the consumption of dairy products, however some people may avoid dairy in their diet due to the belief that it may be detrimental to heath. For these reasons, the importance of dairy in the diet can sometimes be overlooked. However this food group contains essential nutrients for heath – with accumulating research showing a wealth of health benefits linked with the consumption of milk, yoghurt, cheese.

Serve recommendations

 
Age group 
Serves
Men 

19–50

 2.5

 

51–70

2.5

 

70+

3.5

Women

19–50

2.5

 

51–70

4

 

70+

4

 

Pregnant >18

2.5

 

Pregnant <18

3.5

 

Breastfeeding >18

2.5

 

Breastfeeding <18

4

Children

1–2 y/o girls and boys

1–1.5

 

2–3 y/o girls and boys

1.5

 

4–8 y/o boys

2

 

4–8 y/o girls

1.5

 

9–11 y/o boys

2.5

 

9–11 y/o girls

3

 

12–13 y/o boys and girls

3.5

 

14–18 y/o girls and boys

3.5


Adapted from: 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines

A standard serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives (mostly reduced-fat) is approximately 500–600kj which is equivalent to:

  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk

  • ½ cup (120ml) evaporated milk

  • 2 slices (40g) or 4 x 3 x 2cm cube (40g) of hard cheese, such as cheddar

  • ½ cup (120g) ricotta cheese

  • ¾ cup (200g) yoghurt

  • 1 cup (250ml) soy, rice or other cereal drink with at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml.1

Use the Nutrition Calculator to calculate recommended serves of the five food groups for each age and gender group. 



1 National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Dietary Guidelines, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2013.