Shopping for Milk and Dairy Foods

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Shopping for Milk and Dairy Foods


Go low fat.

  • Choose fat-free (also called skim) or low-fat (1%) milk instead of whole milk.
  • Choose plain, low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Choose fat-free evaporated milk instead of cream or half-and-half.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese.
  • Choose reduced-fat or low-fat cheeses instead of regular cheese.

These choices will reduce calories and saturated fat, but they won’t reduce calcium or the other essential nutrients in milk and other dairy foods.

Go local.

Local or store brands of milk and dairy foods often cost less than national brands. Be sure to check the price per ounce to make sure you get the best deal.

Go big.

Larger containers of milk and yogurt usually cost less per ounce than smaller or single-serving containers.

Switch it up!

  • Use fat-free or low-fat milk on your cereal or oatmeal, instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Use plain, low-fat yogurt on your baked potato, instead of sour cream.
  • Use plan, low-fat yogurt to make your favorite dip, instead of sour cream.

Limit added sugars.

Flavored milks (like chocolate or strawberry milks), flavored yogurts, frozen yogurt, puddings, and ice creams can contain a lot of added sugar.

  • Choose low-sugar or no-sugar-added options for these foods.
  • Add your own fresh, canned, or frozen fruit to plain yogurt. Use low-fat Greek-style yogurt for an even creamier treat!

Don’t forget the coffee!

If you drink coffee, be sure to choose fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk, cream, or a commercial coffee creamer.

Can’t drink milk?

If you are lactose-intolerant, you can still get your calcium! Try low-fat yogurt, fat-free or low-fat lactose-free milk, or soy milk.

Be a role model.

Parents who drink milk and eat dairy foods show their kids that these foods are important. Dairy foods are essential for growing strong bones in children and teens and in maintaining strong and healthy bones in adults.