Dairy and alternatives

Dairy foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are a great source of calcium, protein and vitamins. Go for lower fat and lower sugar products where possible. 

We often think of children and young people when we talk about needing calcium for strong bones. But it’s just as important to look after your bones as you grow older. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D helps to protect your bones and keep them strong for life. Aim to get three portions of milk, cheese or yoghurt in your diet each day. Teenagers and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should aim for five portions a day. 

It is best to choose low-fat versions because as they contain less saturated fat, they’re better at keeping your heart healthy. And they still contain all the goodness of the full-fat versions. Low-fat or semi-skimmed milk is fine for children aged two and upwards who have a healthy balanced diet. Skimmed milk should not be given to children under five years of age.

Tips to get more milk, cheese and yoghurt into your diet

  • Have some milk or yoghurt with your breakfast cereal
  • Grate some cheese over your spaghetti Bolognese or into sandwiches
  • Whip up a healthy dessert of chopped fruit topped with yoghurt
  • Have a glass of milk with your evening meal
  • When you feel like chocolate, try a cup of milky cocoa instead