Milk, cheese and yogurt contain calcium, which is vital for growing children as it keeps their bones and teeth strong. They are good sources of protein, too.

However, some dairy is high in fat, particularly saturated fat, so choose lower-fat alternatives (check for added sugar, though). Semi-skimmed milk actually contains more calcium than whole milk, but children under 2 should have whole milk because theymay not get the calories or essential vitamins they need from lower-fat milks. Don't give children skimmed milk until they are at least 5.

How often?

Aim to have some dairy every day, but don't overdo it.


  • milk straight in glass, flavoured with a little cinnamon, or added to breakfast porridge
  • yogurt with fruits or on curry
  • cottage cheese scooped on carrots sticks.