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Guide To Common Portion And Serving Size From The Dairy Group

Michelle Mirizzi • MS, Registered Dietitian • Jun 13, 2012

Servings from the dairy group are counted by 1 cup servings.

For dairy foods, the servings are shown in ounces.  For example, cheese is shown in ounces.  Depending on the type of cheese, 1 serving could be 1  ½ ounces or 2 ounces of cheese. 



In general, here are the servings of dairy foods that count as 1 cup:

  • 1 cup of milk  dairy foods serving size
  • 1 cup of yogurt  
  • 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese

What Counts As A Serving In The Dairy Group

Here are dairy that equal 1 cup serving from the dairy group.

My Plate recommends that you choose low fat or fat-free dairy drinks and foods for a healthier meal.

1 Cup Serving From The Dairy Group
1 cup of milk
1 cup lactose free milk
1 cup soy milk fortified with calcium
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup yogurt
1 mini Bagel
1 ½ cheddar cheese
1 ½ mozzarella cheese
1 ½ Swiss cheese
1 ½ Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded cheese
2 cups cottage cheese
1 slice American cheese
 1 cup pudding made from milk
1 cup frozen yogurt
1 ½ cups ice cream



Common Portions From The Dairy Group

Here are some examples to help you understand the difference between portions that you may be eating versus how many servings that actual is from the dairy group.  You can see that some foods in the dairy require larger portions like cottage cheese. Other foods are higher in calories like ice cream and are not the best choice for your child to eat on a regular choice for their dairy serving.

Here are some other common portions and their respective My Plate Food Guide serving sizes:

Common Portion Sizes
My Plate
Serving Size
1 ounce equivalents
My Plate

Total Serving

1 cup of milk 1 cup of milk  1 serving
2 slices of cheese 1 slice of cheese  2 servings
1 cup of cottage cheese 2 cup of cottage cheese  ½ servings










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Written by Michelle MirizziWritten on Jun 13, 2012Last updated on Jun 14, 2013




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