So here it is, the controversial issue of flavored milks in our schools, at home. What do I think? Drink away- just make sure they are either lowfat or nonfat flavored milks.
First, I would say if your child likes regular lowfat or skim milk, there is no need to introduce a flavored milk. If they suddenly decide they will not drink milk anymore, flavored is fine. I do believe that our childhood obesity problem is not caused by flavored milks, it is caused by sugary drinks and salty, processed snack foods, processed meals and a lack of exercise.
Flavored milks are a better choice than sugary drinks because they contain calcium, vitamin D and protein. Sugary drinks (and yes, I am talking about Gatorade, Snapple, soda, sugary juice drinks, etc) provide calories but no satiation. They do not fill you up as a protein drink like milk will.
Here's a tip: when making chocolate milk at home, just use a teaspoon of chocolate powder/syrup. You do not have to follow the directions on the box which will make it much more caloric and much sweeter. When buying chocolate milk for lunchbags make sure the ones you are buying state that they are lowfat.
How much calcium do kids need? About 3 cups of milk per day will do the trick. Of course you can substitute yogurt at some meals. Good luck!