So I have been seeing A LOT of articles lately about schools banning chocolate milk. My answer to that is: please don’t do it!!! While I think the most beneficial solution would be to offer low fat chocolate milk instead of regular chocolate milk, the regular stuff is still better than not offering it all.
This article from ABC’s Good Morning America is a couple of years old, but it’s still extremely relevant and very succinct. So go read this first before I go any further!
Basically, the only reason that schools want to take it off their menus is because of the sugar content. I understand trying to reduce students’ intake of sugar, but depriving them of the benefits of milk (and chocolate milk at that!) is detrimental.
You would think it ridiculous if schools decided to ban apples and oranges due to their high sugar content (which is true!) because the nutritional value of these fruits far outweighs the sugar. Well, banning chocolate milk would be almost as bad as banning fruits.
We all know that milk is loaded with calcium, which is great for building strong bones (especially in growing children). Calcium is also great at blocking the body’s ability to absorb fat. Plus milk is loaded with Vitamin D… and if you read my post about vitamins and minerals , you’d know that Vitamin D helps metabolize calcium and is great for the skin. Not to mention milk is an excellent source of protein for their muscles.
Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the addition of chocolate to milk can add energy to the mix. In fact, scientists and health professionals alike recommend drinking low fat chocolate milk before a workout to give you greater energy, or after a workout to replenish your energy and muscles. Low fat chocolate milk actually has the perfect carbohydrate to protein ratio to properly refuel your body.
In addition to the health benefits of chocolate milk, GMA’s article brings up a good point about chocolate milk’s affect on getting kids to actually DRINK milk. When chocolate milk is available, kids are more likely to opt for it. When it’s taken away, kids are less likely to choose regular milk and more likely to pick sugary drinks that are far worse than chocolate milk (like soda). So, what’s better… getting SOME milk into your kids or getting NO milk into your kids??
I guess what really grinds my gears is that the advocates who are looking to ban chocolate milk in schools don’t look at the bigger picture. Or, rather, they don’t look at it properly. When reading a food label, you can’t pick and choose what’s important. Saying that chocolate milk is bad simply because of a higher sugar content is uneducated. Sugar is NOT the enemy! Your body NEEDS sugar, just like it needs fat. Plenty of foods (again, like apples and oranges) contain tons of natural sugar. It’s unnatural sugars like high fructose corn syrup and aspartame that are a serious problem. But the sugar content in a good chocolate milk is irrelevant compared to all of its nutritional benefits. Especially if it’s getting our kids to choose milk instead of soda.
So please don’t ban chocolate milk… replace it with well formulated low fat brands instead.
So what do you think of the decision to ban chocolate milk?!?!