At a meeting held to discuss upcoming staff changes, Jeffrey Mills, director of food services for D.C. public schools, informed parents that the city’s schools would no longer serve flavored milk or sugary cereals. The menu change will begin at the start of school in August 2010.
Chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk have long been offered in D.C.-area schools as part of the breakfast and lunch programs. Such flavored milks often contain as much sugar as soda, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup. HFCS has often been linked to the rising numbers in obesity rates.
Low-fat white milk contains approximately 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar as lactose in an eight-ounce serving. Chocolate-flavored milk has upwards of 24 grams of sugar, equal to more than six teaspoons of sugar. Proponents for a healthier diet have long thought that the extra sugars in flavored milks lead to behavior problems with students. Schools have fought to keep flavored milks in the system due to a misguided thought that children won’t drink plain milk.
We salute D.C.-area schools for this step in the right direction and we hope many other schools follow!