Dairy Foods

What Is A Dairy Food?

Dairy foods are usually those items which contain milk. These include milk, from raw to skim, including dry powdered milk; cheese; yogurt; butter; ice cream; and ice milk. Eggs are also often placed in the category of dairy foods as are puddings and custards sometimes.

Dairy Facts


The Process

Today when a cow is milked most farmers use a milking machine. First the cow’s udder is washed. Then a small amount of milk is drawn by hand before the milking machine is used. A milking machine is a pump which sucks the milk through cups which fit over the cows teats. The milk then travels through a pipeline to a cooling tank. Later the cooling tank is emptied into a tank truck to be transported to a dairy.

At the dairy the milk is placed into a refrigerated storage tank. From the storage tank the milk goes to a clarifier where the milk is blended to standardize the amount of cream throughout all the milk. Next the milk is heated to 161 degrees Fahrenheit, in a process called pasteurization, to kill any bacteria.

The milk moves from the pasteurizer to a homogenizer. The homogenizer forces the milk through tiny openings to break up the fat. This distributes the fat evenly through the milk. After being homogenized the milk is packaged.


Milk and milk products contain several different nutrients the human body needs. Calcium, protein, vitamin C, and phosphorous are all present in milk. It also contains sugars, carbohydrates, sodium, and fat. Vitamin D is added to most milk in order to provide people with this harder to obtain vitamin. Sometimes vitamin A is added also.

Milk contains cholesterol which some individuals must avoid. Other people have an allergic reaction to milk or a lactose intolerance. Lactic acid found in milk can be difficult for some people to digest and process. In addition some people must avoid the fat in milk. There are different types of milks now available which have these problem portions of the milk removed.

Yogurt can provide a nutritional benefit that other dairy products do not. Cultured yogurt has live bacilli, acidopholis, which thrives in the human intestines. This bacteria is beneficial to humans in digesting food.


Vanilla Relaxer

Try this as a drink before bed; its fun, soothing and easy to make.

You will need:

Pour two cups of milk into the small sauce pan or microwavable pitcher. Heat the milk until it is warm, but not hot. In the sauce pan heat it over a medium heat stirring occasionally until it steams. In the microwave heat on high for approximately two minutes.

Put one teaspoon of vanilla extract into the bottom of each mug. Pour half the warm milk into each mug and stir. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg. Serves 2.

Best Butter

Churning butter was once a household chore. Now butter is bought packaged at a store. Just like in the past, try making some of your own butter.

You will need:

Fill the jar ˝ full of the heavy whipping cream. Put the lid on tightly. Shake the jar vigorously stopping to observe the cream and rest. Continue to shake the jar until a large lump of butter has formed inside it.

Pour off any excess whey. Use the knife to spread the butter on the crackers. Enjoy!

More Recipes

There are more recipes to try on our Food And Nutrition page.

Books For Children


Related Subjects

To learn more about where dairy foods come from, read our Dairy Farms page. To find out more about other foods try our Eggs, Popcorn, and Food And Nutrition pages.

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