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Milk and milk products contribute only 18% of calories and 24% of the fat consumed by children aged 4 to 18, and 12% of the calories and 18% of the fat consumed by adults age 19 or older (1).

Children aged 2 to 8 need 2 Food Guide Servings of Milk & Alternatives (2). Canada’s Food Guide recommends not restricting nutritious foods because of their fat content, as young children need energy and nutrients for growth and development (2).

Ideas for Action:
  1. Find out how much fat you are getting in your diet. Download or order FoodTrack™—Check on Fat.
  2. Choose the milk that tastes right for you. The difference in the amount of fat or calories is quite small. There is only a 70 calorie difference between a glass of whole milk and a glass of skim milk.

Check out how many calories and how much fat and calcium a Food Guide Serving of Milk & Alternatives contributes.

Daily amounts recommended for adult women 250 mL skim milk 250 mL 1% milk 250 mL 2% milk 250 mL 1% chocolate milk 175 mL 1.5% yogurt 50 g part skim mozzarella
Calories (kcal) 1752 - 1907* 88 108 129 166 110 127
Fat (g) 70** Trace 2.5 5 2.6 2.7 8.2
Calcium (mg) 1000*** 320 307 302 304 320 323

(Based on Dietary Reference Intakes For Energy, Carbohydrate, Fibre, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. National Academy of Sciences, 2002/2005 and Canadian Nutrient File, 2007b.)

* Estimated Energy Requirements for adult sedentary women 30 years old, 5’3”, at the lower and upper end of the normal Body Mass Index range.

** Maximum recommended grams of fat each day for adult women 30 years old, 5’3”.

*** Amount recommended for adult women aged 19-50

Canada’s Food Guide recommends drinking 2 cups (500 mL) of milk every day for adequate vitamin D (2).  It is easy to get 2 cups of milk without adding much fat or many calories to your diet. Two cups of 2% milk provide 60% of your calcium need and only 7% of the calories and fat in an 1800-calorie diet. 


(1)    Statistics Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey, 2004.

(2)    Health Canada. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, 2007.

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All About Milk Articles, Nutrition Education Articles

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