Non Fat Chocolate Milk: Vote Yes in Schools

As an athlete I am a huge fan of non fat chocolate milk.  It’s the perfect recovery drink with a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio and far cheaper than the manufactured powders sold in supplement stores.  As a mom I am a big advocate for making it available to our children in the school lunch line.  Yes, one carton is slightly higher in calories and sugar than non fat white milk, but raise your glass to these nutrition facts:

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  • Non fat chocolate milk has 132 calories and 22 grams of sugar per cup as compared to 85 calories and 12 grams of sugar in non fat (skim) white milk.
  • Children who drink milk (white or flavored) have a lower BMI (a number calculated from a child’s height and weight) than non milk drinkers.
  • Females ages 12-18 who drink milk (white or flavored) have double the calcium intake of non milk drinkers.
  • On days when only white milk is offered in schools, milk consumption drops an average of 35-50 percent.
  • In year 2 where schools implemented a no-flavor policy, students drank 37 percent less milk.
  • The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee identified Vitamin D, calcium and potassium as key missing nutrients in our children’s diets.  1 cup of fat free chocolate milk provides 30% of the Daily Value for calcium, 25% Vitamin D, 16% protein and 10% Vitamin A.
  • Rethink your drink to see how non fat chocolate milk stacks up against the other beverage choices children might consume.
  • Skipping the beverage at lunch leaves children under hydrated for afternoon studies resulting in poor attention, moodiness and headaches.

By no means am I suggesting that a child drink non fat chocolate milk at all of their meals.  I am of the opinion that the small amount of added sugar contained in non fat chocolate milk is an acceptable trade off for the key nutrients, price and lunchtime hydration.  What do you think?



Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

5 replies

  1. As a teacher, and someone who has studied nutrition extensively, I vote no. The fat in milk, if that milk comes from grass-fed cows, is an important nutrient. The lactose in milk is a sugar that leads to obesity and diabetes. Sweetened chocolate non-fat mlk doubles down on the most unhealthy ingredient, sugar, and eliminates one of the most important, fat. Serve your kids whole, unsweetened milk, from cows raised on pastures without anti-biotics or hormones. jr

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  2. Non-fat milk is a nutritional disaster for children. Add sugar to it and it gets even worse! Are they TRYING to make kids fat and stupid on purpose?

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  3. I vote NO.

    It’s a terrible idea to give anyone (let alone children) a once-nutritious drink with nothing left except processed added sugar and processed added vitamin D (needed because they took out the fat where all the vitamins were to begin with!)

    Full-fat milk from grass-fed cows is just better for you. If you really need added sugar, give the children an apple too.

    Time for dietary advice to be updated.

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  4. This is SO wrong. Lowfat milk is not even healthy, and adding sugar just makes it liquid candy. Shame on this author for spreading such terrible advice. Send the writer back to school.

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  1. A Day with the Dairy Herd | The Dietitian's Digest

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