Milk and milk products include milk, cheese and yoghurt.
These foods – also called dairy products – are an important source of calcium, helping to give us strong bones and teeth. They also provide protein (for growth and repair), carbohydrates, and fat (for energy) as well as many important vitamins (such as vitamins A and B12) and minerals (including zinc).
In general, 2-3 serves of milk and milk products each day are recommended for most adults. Older adults need between 3.5-4 serves as they have higher calcium and protein requirements. You can see how many servings a day you are recommended to consume on our Healthy Eating pages.
If you choose plant-based milk (eg, soy, rice, or almond), make sure that it has added calcium (and vitamin B12 if you avoid animal-based foods). Note that most plant-based milks (excluding soy) are also much lower in protein than cow’s milk.
Note that, while butter is considered to be a dairy product, butter does not count towards a serving of milk and milk products. This is because butter is predominately fat and low/minimal in nutrients such as protein, and calcium.
Last reviewed: 14 March 2022
Last modified: August 16, 2023