Have you heard about the latest debate going on about flavored milk in the schools? Louisville, Colorado has banned flavored milk. The are districts in California that are considering a ban or have one in place. The problem is, by eliminating strawberry and chocolate milk from the menu, students are drinking less milk. Cabell County, WV is one district that banned flavored milk, and then ended the ban when they saw a big drop in milk consumption.
I prefer that my children drink plain milk. However, I don’t have a problem with them having one carton of chocolate milk a day. I’m more concerned with the food that is served in my children’s schools, then whether they drink plain or flavored milk.
The main concern sited for children drinking flavored milk is the amount of natural sugar in the product.
Plain milk – 14 grams of sugar
Fat-Free Chocolate milk – 20 grams of sugar
Fat-Free Strawberry milk – 27 grams of sugar
In my opinion, I think the best solution is to keep plain and fat-free chocolate milk in schools, and get rid of strawberry. I also know that the body needs sugar. You can not cut it completely out. It’s when sugar is consumed in high quantity that it becomes unhealthy. The benefits of drinking milk makes up for a few extra grams of sugar.
While everyone is complaining about flavored milk, have they examined the food that is served to our children? The schools need to pay more attention to the nutritional content of the food items in the schools. Instead of focusing on the nutritional value of one item, the whole picture needs to be addressed.
There are other things that I believe are more important than serving flavored milk. How about physical activity during the school day? Our children are in school for an average of 6 ½ to 7 hours a day. Then there is the amount of time on the school bus. My daughter gets PE once or twice a week. She gets about 10 to 15 minutes on the playground each day, except on the days that she has art or music.
Another concern is what our children eat at home. It’s not enough that our children eat healthy at school, they also need to eat healthy at home. Serving only plain milk at school will not affect the childhood obesity problem in America. Our children need to be more active at school. They need a total healthy menu at school. And, they need to eat healthy at home.