Dairy for seniors

Adequate dairy intake for seniors is just as important as other life stages


Osteoporosis affects one in two women and one in three men over the age of 60 years in Australia.

Women begin to lose bone rapidly following menopause. By the age of 65, both men and women lose bone at the same rate. This bone loss can be slowed by eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, getting enough vitamin D and exercising regularly.

Milk and dairy foods are good sources of protein, calcium and energy (kilojoules) for older Australians. Having enough kilojoules throughout the day helps provide the energy needed to be active. Getting the right amount of protein can help keep muscles strong.

Milk and milk-based drinks as part of other fluid intake also helps to prevent dehydration, a common issue for seniors.

Dairy foods pack a lot of nutrition into a single serve, and are a convenient and easily available source of calcium.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Make morning coffee with milk.
  • Have a bowl of fruit and yoghurt for breakfast.
  • Add cheese to a salad or sandwich.
  • Dollop natural yoghurt on a jacket potato.
  • Grate or shave parmesan or mozzarella cheese on pasta dishes.
  • Enjoy custard as a snack or after dinner.
  • Have a warm glass of milk in the evening.

For women over the age of 70, four serves of the dairy foods group are recommended daily. For men over 70, the recommended daily amount is 3.5 serves.

A serve from the dairy foods group is a cup (250ml) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) yoghurt, two slices (40g) of cheese, half a cup (120g) of ricotta cheese or alternatives.