How much in a day?

Smart shopping habits can cut costs and increase the nutritional value of meals. Spending wisely in the dairy aisle means buying the most calcium for your dollar.

According to MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, individuals age nine and up need three servings of dairy daily. Each serving provides about 300 mg of calcium.

Daily Recommendation
Children 2-3 years old: 2 cups
4-8 years old: 2.5 cups
Girls 9-13 years old: 3 cups
14-18 years old: 3 cups
Boys 9-13 years old: 3 cups
14-18 years old: 3 cups
Women 19-30 years old: 3 cups
31-50 years old: 3 cups
51+ years old: 3 cups
Men 19-30 years old: 3 cups
31-50 years old: 3 cups
51+ years old: 3 cups


Storing and discarding

  • Check that products requiring refrigeration are cold when you purchase them in the store.
  • Make the dairy aisle one of the last stops in your shopping trip so the items do not become warm in the cart.
  • Refrigerate all dairy products within two hours of purchase. Store milk in the refrigerator’s main compartment; it is colder than the door.
  • Refrigerate all cheeses in their original packaging until opened.
  • Wrap cheese tightly after use to prevent mold from growing.
  • Store dairy products for only the recommended amount of time — use the date on the package as a guide.
  • Milk generally stays fresh for one week after opening if it is kept refrigerated at 40ºF or lower and the container is closed.
  • Don’t return unused milk or cream to the original container.


Organizing your fridge  | Handout

Dairy Choices

Also Called Calories Fat Grams % DV Calcium % DV Vitamin D
Skim Milk Fat-free Milk, Non-fat Milk 90 0 30 25
Low-fat Milk 1% Milk 110 2.5 30 25
Reduced-fat Milk 2% Milk 130 5 30 25
Whole Milk Vitamin D Milk, Homogenized Milk 150 8 30 25
Soy Milk NA 100 4 45 30
Light Soy Milk NA 70 2 45 30