Daily Food Plan for Preschoolers

Dairy Group

Get your calcium-rich foods

Help your preschooler learn to consume and enjoy foods in the Dairy group. They provide health benefits � like building and maintaining strong, dense bones. They are important parts of your child's food intake Include low-fat and fat-free foods or beverages from the Dairy Group in meals and snacks for your child every day. These include milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soymilk (soy beverage).

It is especially important to establish the habit of drinking milk in young children. Those who consume milk as young children are more likely to do so as adults. If you think your preschooler may be lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, check with your child's doctor to be sure.

Now is the time to switch your preschooler from drinking whole to low-fat or fat-free milk. Kids that are two years and older can drink fat-free and low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as whole milk or 2% milk, but less solid fat and calories. Solid fats are mainly saturated fats, and foods high in saturated fat tend to raise blood cholesterol levels. Fat-free milk is also called skim milk and low-fat milk is also called 1% milk.

Types of Milk

Also called


Skim milk, Nonfat milk


1% milk


2% milk


Vitamin D milk*, Homogenized milk

* All types of fluid milk are typically fortified with vitamin D.Some yogurts are also fortified with vitamin D.

Make sure you only serve pasteurized (not raw) milk to your preschooler.

Some children don't consume enough milk and milk products. Other children may prefer milk to other foods and fill up on it. This leaves less room for other important foods. Help your child get enough but not too much milk.

More information on the Dairy Group: