Keep Chocolate Milk in Schools
Chocolate milk has become a focus in school board discussions around the country. Many doctors and nutritionists argue that chocolate milk should be banned from school lunches because of its high sugar content. Many school districts in DC, Florida, Colorado, and California have gone ahead and banned chocolate milk, while others are still debating the issue in increasingly heated discussions.
Parents fighting over chocolate milk? It seems like a silly thing to debate, but if my school were to consider banning flavored milk, I would be mad enough to organize a protest in the street, no matter how much I embarrassed my children.
While chocolate milk certainly has higher sugar content than regular milk, it still contains the calcium and Vitamin D that children's growing bodies need. I would much rather see my children drink a few extra calories, along with some important nutrients, then worry that they are not getting enough calcium.
My son is a skinny, energetic six year old who drinks chocolate milk with his lunch every day. If chocolate milk were banned from his school, he would drink water instead as he doesn't like plain milk. Deprived of the protein boost from that half-pint of milk, he would return to his afternoon classes tired and lethargic. The School Nutrition Association released a study in July stating that milk consumption decreased by 35% in districts that banned flavored milk.
There is no doubt that our school lunches are in need of a major nutrition overhaul. If your school is lucky enough to have a cafeteria, I'm sure, like ours, that it boasts a menu full of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and other yellow foods. Our children need healthy and appealing entree options with plenty of fruits and vegetables. But our first step in cleaning up school lunches shouldn't be to ban chocolate milk because doing so will only decrease our children's nutritional intake.