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My Blog

Flavored Milks

Flavored Milk in Schools?

Hi everyone.   This topic of flavored milk in schools seems to come up in many districts.  My thoughts are that children can be so deficient in calcium and vitamin D that it is ok if they get these nutrients from chocolate milk.  Lowfat chocolate milk can provide children with the protein, calcium and vitamin D they need. 

What  happens when you take the flavored milk away?  Some kids eschew milk altogether.  I would rather see a child drink a flavored lowfat milk than no milk at all.  Also, yogurts contain sugar but no one talks about taking away yogurt and making children eat plain yogurt- why?  Because it doesn't taste good.  

One of my kids will not drink regular milk- I am ok with having her drink chocolate milk since I know there are some good ingredients in the chocolate milk.  I would hate for those nutrients to be taken away. 

What am I not ok with?  Sodas and sugary  fruit drinks.  I believe those contribute to our problems in this obesity crisis.  Those drinks do not give your child ANY nutritional value at all.   

So what to do?  For meals, it's best to offer your child regular lowfat or skim milk.  If they don't like it plain it is ok to offer them a lowfat flavored milk.  If they choose neither of these options, water is a great choice.  Actually it is ok to have water offered at every meal anyway.  

Flavored Milks: Yay or Nay?


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!
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