How many serves from this food group?

It is estimated that eight out of 10 Australian adults do not consume enough dairy1 and are therefore missing out on the health benefits that come from consuming milk, yoghurt, cheese. The National Health Survey2 has revealed that more than half of the population are not getting enough calcium with teenage girls and women over 50 at serious risk of poor bone health. Men are also not consuming enough and most Australian children need to increase their intake of dairy foods in order to meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines.3

Calcium isn’t the only concern; the National Health Survey also showed low intakes of vitamin A, riboflavin, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc amongst the population. It’s clear that eliminating, or not consuming enough dairy in the diet means Australians are missing out on the unique package of nutrients and health benefits that dairy provides.

Use the tables below to see how many to see how many serves of dairy foods adults and children need each day.



The guidelines advise that more than 50% of intake from dairy foods should be reduced-fat varieties. It should be noted that reduced-fat varieties are not recommended for those aged under two years. Extra kilojoules are required during infancy to support this time of rapid growth and due to these requirements. Full-fat dairy is an ideal source of energy after 12 months when cow’s milk can be introduced. After two years of age, toddlers can choose whatever variety the rest of the family enjoys.

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In this audio clip, Accredited Practising Dietitian Sharon Curtain explores what a serve of dairy is.

1 Doidge JC, Segal L. Most Australians do not meet recommendations for dairy consumption: findings of a new technique to analyse nutrition surveys. Aust NZ J Public Health. 2012;36(3):236-40.

2 Australian Bureau of Statistics [Internet]. Canberra: ABS; 2015. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-2012. Cat 4364.0.55.008. [updated 2015 Apr 27; cited 2016 Feb 09]. Available:

3 Baird, DL, Syrette, J, Hendrie, GA, Riley MD, Bowen J, Noakes M. Dairy food intake of Australian children and adolescents 2–16 years of age: 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15:2060–73.