What Counts as a Cup in the Dairy Group?

dairy_cup_of_low-fat_yogurtIn general, 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soymilk (soy beverage), 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese can be considered as 1 cup from the Dairy Group.

The chart lists specific amounts that count as 1 cup in the Dairy Group towards your daily recommended intake:

  Amount That Counts as a Cup in the Dairy Group Common Portions and Cup Equivalents
(choose fat-free or low-fat milk)
1 cup milk  
1 half-pint container milk  
½ cup evaporated milk  
(choose fat-free or low-fat yogurt)
1 regular container
(8 fluid ounces)
1 small container
(6 ounces) = ¾ cup
1 cup yogurt 1 snack size container
(4 ounces) = ½ cup
(choose reduced-fat or low-fat cheeses)
1 ½ ounces hard cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Parmesan) 1 slice of hard cheese is equivalent to ½ cup milk
⅓ cup shredded cheese  
2 ounces processed cheese (American) 1 slice of processed cheese is equivalent to ⅓ cup milk
½ cup ricotta cheese  
2 cups cottage cheese ½ cup cottage cheese is equivalent to ¼ cup milk
Milk-based desserts
(choose fat-free or low-fat types)
1 cup pudding made with milk  
1 cup frozen yogurt  
1 ½ cups ice cream 1 scoop ice cream is equivalent to ⅓ cup milk
(soy beverage)
1 cup calcium-fortified soymilk  
1 half-pint container calcium-fortified soymilk  

Key Consumer Message

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

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