Is Flavored Milk Evil?Posted: November 2, 2011
There have been some informative articles in The Boston Globe related to efforts being made to improve school lunches for students across the state of Massachusetts, as well as the nation. The link to one such article can be found at the end of this post. I think there is plenty of room for improvement in the lunches served at most schools, but I also recognize the importance of providing foods and beverages that students will actually eat and drink. Some schools have banned, or are considering banning, chocolate and other flavored milk from the lunch line. This is a mistake. Flavored milk is compared with Pepsi in the Globe article and it is an unfair comparison.
First off, let’s state the obvious: Pepsi (and all soda) offers no nutritional value other than calories.
Flavored milk, on the other hand, provides the following nutrients (with daily nutritional value) per serving: calcium (30%); vitamin D (25%); vitamin A (10%); protein (16%); potassium (11%); riboflavin (23%); vitamin B12 (13%); phosphorus (20%); niacin (10%) and vitamin c (4%). Many of these nutrients are important for bone growth. The only difference between flavored milk and regular milk is the addition of about 40 – 50 calories.
The article compares 8 oz. of Pepsi with 8 oz. of flavored milk and points out that they have almost the same grams of sugar (27 and 26 grams respectively). Is it even possible to buy an 8 oz. can of Pepsi? One of the problems with soda in general is that it is typically sold in larger bottles that contain at least 2 servings, but people just consume the whole bottle. In the case of the hard-to-find, 8 oz. serving of Pepsi, all of the sugar is added sugar. For flavored milk, however, approximately half of the sugar is lactose, which is naturally present in milk to begin with.
When it comes to growing kids, and all of us for that matter, the more nutrient-rich foods you have in your diet, the better off you will be. I speak from my own experience that my children drink more milk when I have a variety for them to choose from, both regular and flavored. In order to keep up with the new nutritional guidelines for school lunches, hopefully milk distributors will create a lower-sugar variety of flavored milk, but to completely eliminate this option for students is not doing their growing bones any favors.
***What do you think – is flavored milk evil? Click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave a comment.***
The Boston Globe article:
For more information on healthy school lunches, click below:
Other related links: