What are the serving sizes of dairy products in the USDA MyPlate?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Based on a 2000 calorie diet it is recommended to consume 3 cups of dairy per day. This guideline is in line with calcium recommendations. A serving of dairy equivalent to a 1 cup serving is 1 cup of skim or 1% milk, yogurt or fortified soy milk;1.5 ounces natural cheese or 2 ounces processed cheese. If you use soymilk, check the nutrition facts panel to make sure it is low in fat (under 5 grams/serving) and has 30% calcium. This will make it equivalent to a glass of skim or 1% milk.

A serving of dairy products is considered:
  • 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soymilk (soy beverage)
  • 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese
Individuals age 9 and older should consume three servings from the dairy group daily. Choose nonfat and low fat dairy foods to reduce the amount of heart-unhealthy saturated fat in your diet.

For more information visit:
MyPlate, USDA's food pyramid

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.