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Flavored Milk Better for Children Than Nothing

Kids prefer flavored milk. It’s pretty obvious, right? When given the choice, not many kids choose regular milk over chocolate. This, no doubt, raises the concern of increased sugar in the diet of school-age kids. The National Dairy Council has recently published news that negates this concern. Studies show that kids who aren’t offered flavored milk at school simply choose not to drink milk at all.

The impact of this study is larger than it seems at first glance. Reportedly, 58 schools were included and each one exhibited dramatic drops in milk consumption when flavored milk was taken off the breakfast and lunch menus. Some schools boasted a 50 percent drop, although the average was 35 percent. It occurred to me that perhaps the kids just needed to get used to their new options. Strangely, the study didn’t see any rise in the percentage of milk-drinkers even after a year or more of partaking in the study.

If kids refuse to drink regular milk, we could always supplement their diets with other food that contains the same nutrients, right? Although this is a decent and well-thought out solution, it doesn’t really work. In trying to do this, their diet would incorporate more fat and calories, which actually increases the risk of obesity. Furthermore, it could cost up to $4,600 more a year to feed every 100 students.

The good news is that adding chocolate (or strawberry, vanilla, banana, etc.) to milk is a reasonable way to enjoy it. Studies indicate that kids drink less soda and juice when allowed flavored milk as an alternative. Overall, this actually decreases their daily sugar intake and provides a better path for long-term health. By offering options at school, we’re allowing kids the opportunity to incorporate nine important nutrients into their diet. Calcium is the most well-known component of milk but milk also contains Vitamins A, D, B12, potassium, magnesium, protein and other nutrients.

Let’s just give the kids their chocolate milk. It will do a lot more good than harm. What do you guys think? Is flavored milk better than nothing?

Via: The National Dairy Council

Also Read:

The Great American Salad Bar Project to Improve School Lunches

Childhood Obesity Drop Linked to Better School Food

D.C. Schools Drop Flavored Milk From Menu

September 20th, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 6 total comments)


Yes, I agree it's better than nothing at all. The vitamins are vital for our children. Calcium and vitamins, protein.... Tooth decay and bone density loss also happens in children, not just adults. There has to be some sort of middle ground to meet the needs of those growing bodies. I personally don't like Hershey's syrup or nesquick. Carnation instant breakfast is what I give my son. Yes, there is sugar, but if you read the contents of the packets, also have vitamins, minerals, protein and other beneficial items. I drink them 3x a week so does my son.

Living a healthy life is important. Talk to your family Dr or Pediatrician and Dentist. Find out the consequences of taking the calcium out of your child's diet before you go too far.

posted Sep 20th, 2010 8:20 pm


I think you nailed it with the water issue. It really is the best choice overall... I find it disturbing how many kids get their "fruit servings" from juice.

That said, as far as SCHOOL MEALS goes, milk (including flavored) is a cost effective way to ensure the kids are offered healthy choices. I'd prefer chocolate milk for my sons over soda or juice. I think you're on the right track though, by providing lunches most of the time. Perhaps THAT'S the answer. Maybe we should stop depending on the schools to properly nourish our kids...

posted Sep 20th, 2010 8:07 pm


They would only get the flavored milk on the days that they buy lunch. And that I really don't care if they drink, lol. I think it's junk. Which, of course, means that they will drink every single drop.

When they bring lunch from home, it's white Horizon milk in a box, which they love and so they do drink it, or juice and water in a thermos. Those options are for my elementary and middle school kids. The High school kid takes water and maybe a Propel or Crystal Light packet - if she thinks about it. My college guy never wanted anything other than water, even when he was a kid.

I dunno. I just think water is a better choice, and my kids either think the same or they are so sick of hearing me rhapsodize about it they just do it.

posted Sep 20th, 2010 7:55 pm


Carmen, I forgot to ask: Would you feel differently if you learned that your child wasn't drinking the milk? For example, let's imagine they take it to school and just don't drink anything with lunch. I can recall many days just like that when I was in school.

That's how I was led to my point, "flavored milk is better than nothing"

I give mad props to you though, for insisting on a healthy diet for your children! We really do need more moms like that running America's families! But I certainly wasn't one of those kids! I can only now drink regular milk, and even at that, I prefer Vanilla Soy. Just some thoughts :)

posted Sep 20th, 2010 3:49 pm


Thank you, Carmen, for sharing! I think that's more than reasonable. It still allows room for choice, but you stand firm for what you believe.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the input, it's given me more to think about!

posted Sep 20th, 2010 3:38 pm


I don't think flavored milk is better than nothing.

That being said, my kids do get the option to chose flavored milk when they buy lunch - no more than 2x a week. The rest of the lunches are brought from home, with white milk in a hermetically sealed box, a bottle of water or juice and water 50/50 split.

Lunch is only one meal a day. They have white milk for breakfast and dinner, one glass, and can have water the rest.

If you look at the labels, much of the chocolate and other flavored milk is loaded with sugar. I'm just not keen on them drinking that much sugar and then going back to class.

posted Sep 20th, 2010 2:05 pm


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