Milk & dairy foods

Foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese provide calcium, which helps to maintain normal bones and teeth, and helps with muscle function. Aim to eat 3 portions a day as part of a healthier diet.

Calcium helps to maintain normal bones and teeth, and also helps muscles and nerves function properly.

3 portions per day


The easiest way to get the right amount of calcium in your diet is through 3 portions of milk or dairy per day. A typical portion is 200ml milk, a matchbox-size piece of cheese (30g) or a small pot of yogurt (150g).

How can I eat more calcium?

At breakfast, try swapping toast for cereal with milk. Add a pot of yogurt or fromage frais to your packed lunch. If your kids don’t like plain milk, try making a milky hot chocolate or blending milk with soft fruit and yogurt to make a tasty smoothie.

Calcium & vitamin D

Vitamin D and calcium work together, as vitamin D helps the body to absorb and use calcium. We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our skin, but oily fish is also a source of vitamin D.

What to look for on nutrition labelling

Did you know…

  1. As well as calcium, dairy foods also provide protein and vitamins A, D and B vitamins including B2 and B12.
  2. You would need to eat about 11 servings of spinach to get the same amount of calcium you would from just one glass of milk!
  3. A good calcium intake helps reduce the risk of developing brittle bones or osteoporosis. Teenage girls and young women are particularly at risk of not consuming enough calcium in their diet.

What if you don’t eat dairy?

Cottage cheese, grated carrot & rocket pitta recipe

It’s important to eat plenty of other calcium-rich foods, such as beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables, or dried fruit and nuts. Some foods such as soya milk are fortified with it, so look for products which say ‘with added calcium’.

Try soya milk with added calcium

Quick and easy, these cottage cheese, grated carrot and rocket pittas use just 4 ingredients and give you a portion of dairy.

Cottage cheese pittas