Inside The Pyramid

What counts as a cup in the Dairy Group?
In general, 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese can be considered as 1 cup from the Dairy Group. Additionally, 1 cup of soymilk counts as 1 cup in the Dairy Group.

The chart below lists specific amounts that count as 1 cup in the Dairy Group towards your daily recommended intake.
Amount that counts as 1 cup in the Dairy Group
Common portions and
cup equivalents
[choose fat-free or low-fat milk]
1 cup milk or calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage)
1 half-pint container milk or soymilk
½ cup evaporated milk
[choose fat-free or low-fat yogurt]
1 regular container
(8 fluid ounces)
1 small container (6 ounces) = ¾ cup
1 cup yogurt
1 snack size container
(4 ounces) = ½ cup
[choose reduced-fat or low-fat yogurt]
1 ½ ounces hard cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Parmesan)

1/3 cup shredded cheese
1 slice of hard cheese is equivalent to ½ cup milk
2 ounces processed cheese (American)

½ cup ricotta cheese
1 slice of processed cheese is equivalent to 1/3 cup milk
2 cups cottage cheese
½ cup cottage cheese is equivalent to ¼ cup milk
Milk-based desserts
[choose fat-free or low-fat types]
1 cup pudding made with milk
1 cup frozen yogurt
1 ½ cups ice cream
1 scoop ice cream is equivalent to 1/3 cup milk

1 cup calcium-fortified soymilk  

Key Consumer Message: Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
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Last Modified: June 04, 2011 11:12 AM