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How much dairy should we consume every day to keep our bones strong?

The quantity of Milk and Alternatives that you should consume every day depends on your age. Here they are. Children aged 2 to 8 years: 2 servings a day. Teens aged 9 to 18 years: 3 to 4 servings a day. Adults aged 19 to 50 years: 2 servings a day. Adults aged 51 years and up: 3 servings a day.

To reach the recommended number of daily servings, adding a little milk to your coffee or eating milk chocolate is not enough! According to Canada's Food Guide, 1 serving equals 250 mL (1 cup) of milk or 175 g (¾ cup) of yogurt or 200 mL of yogurt drink or 50 g (1 ½ oz) of firm cheese like Cheddar, Swiss or Gouda. A half cup of Cottage or Ricotta cheese or milk-based desert like rice pudding accounts for half a portion.

I have an 18-month-old. Does he need the same quantity of milk products as a two year old? Also, what are the best kinds of milk products for him?

Before the age of two, a child should drink at least 600 mL (20 oz) of milk daily in order to meet his needs for protein, calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients. Yogurt and cheese are also good choices, but they contain no vitamin D unless they are made from fortified milk. The best choice of milk for children under two years old is whole milk (3.25% milk fat, pasteurized and homogenized).

I'm the parent of a six-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy. Is two cups of milk per day enough for each of them? Also, how much cheese should I give them on a daily basis?

According to Canada's Food Guide, children between 4 and 8 years of age should consume two servings of Milk and Alternatives every day. So two cups of milk is enough. However, your children will soon need more! Since the requirements for milk products for children aged 9 to 13 increase to between 3 to 4 servings per day, it's not excessive to give your children some additional yogurt or cheese during the day. One serving of cheese corresponds to 50 g (1 ½ oz) and one serving of yogurt is 175 g or ¾ cup.

How many different milk products, other than milk, should I consume in a day?

For adults aged 19 to 50, Canada's Food Guide recommends 2 servings of Milk and Alternatives every day and 3 servings for those aged 51 and over. One serving corresponds to 250 mL (1 cup) of milk or 175 g (¾ cup) of yogurt or 50 g (1 ½ oz or the size of two erasers) of cheese. Those quantities provide about the same amount of protein and calcium. You can choose whatever you want as long as you eat your recommended daily servings. The idea is to have a variety of foods and to eat or cook them in different ways to avoid monotony and benefit from a variety of nutritious foods.