Chocolate Milk is NOT Healthy!
It’s a real struggle each night to get her to drink it, even if there’s the smallest amount in her glass. Sometimes I feel like I have a 4-year-old because she’ll scrunch up her nose at the the mere sight of it. Quite often she’ll beat my husband and I to the punch by filling her glass with water before we can pour milk in it. Most of the time I’ll pour out the water and fill it with milk. Ha! But the times when we’ve already poured the milk for everyone she’ll grin and ask, “Can I have Chocolate milk?” Sometimes we’ll cave in, but not very often.
My mom’s convinced she’s not faking her distaste of milk – she truly doesn’t like it. I, however, don’t buy it. Why? Because she’ll guzzle it as fast as a frat boy in a beer chugging contest as soon as Chocolate syrup is added to it. Heck, I do the same thing on the rare occasion I drink the stuff. There’s no denying milk tastes better with Chocolate in it!
Unfortunately, I’m fully aware my kid isn’t the only one who prefers Chocolate milk over plain milk. It’s all about the sugar of course.
CHOCOLATE MILK IN SCHOOLS
There’s been a lot of talk recently about improving school lunch programs nationwide. I’m ALL for it!
I never bought lunch during my entire school career. NEVER! My parents felt “brown bagging it” was cheaper and healthier. Yay for my parents for doing this for my brother and I as this set the foundation for good eating habits (in general, of course!). Besides, I thought the school’s food always looked and smelled horrible. This was just my perception though and I realize I’m in a small group of people who feel this way. Unfortunately, it’s obvious the high-carb and sugary foods win out since they’re very popular with the kids. Still, we need to get rid of all these unhealthy foods and replace them with healthier choices.
This includes CHOCOLATE MILK!
The dairy industry has long touted Chocolate milk as a great source of calcium and Vitamin D. They spend millions of dollars in advertising each year to get this message out and it’s working. Parents, kids and schools are listening. Did you know schools account for approximately half of the dairy industry’s revenue? HALF! You can bet your bottom dollar Chocolate milk is the main seller.
Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, what the dairy ads fail to tell you are two very important facts: Chocolate milk contains TWICE the amount of sugar as plain milk and sugar inhibits calcium aborption.
Are you kidding me? Chocolate milk contains TWICE the amount of sugar! UNBELIEVABLE! This means Chocolate milk contains more sugar than your average can of soda pop! WOW!!! I didn’t know this chilling fact until I watched one of the Food Network’s chefs, Jamie Oliver, give his acceptance speech for winning the TED prize. (SIDE NOTE: You’ve GOT to watch his video if you haven’t seen it already. In fact, have your kids watch it WITH you! I did and it’s a REAL eye-opener!)
When schools were cautioned about the high sugar content, their response was shocking. They feel it’s more important for kids to get their calcium than to worry about the amount of sugar in it. If the sugar makes them drink their milk, then all the better.
I bet they’d change their line of thinking if they knew that sugar inhibits calcium absorption. I mean what’s the point of kids drinking Chocolate milk for the calcium if the sugar in it won’t allow their bodys to absorb it?
This is just wrong!
I guess the dairy industry is hoping the public won’t catch onto these facts. After all, it’s all about money now isn’t it? Who cares about kids health, instead they’re thinking, “Show me the money!”
CHOCOLATE IS A TREAT, NOT A MEAL
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bashing Chocolate milk when this blog is solely about the LOVE of Chocolate, right? Well, quite honestly, I feel Chocolate is a special treat and NOT meant to be a meal!
Of course I’d be lying through my pearly whites if I told you I didn’t dive into Chocolate now and then like it’s going out of style. Yes, I’ve been known to consume more Chocolate in one sitting than I care to admit, BUT, I don’t do this everyday. I feel the same way about kids and their Chocolate milk consumption (as well as other unhealthy food choices, of course). Chocolate milk should be a rare treat, not a daily assault of sugar on their growing bodies. Kids need as much calcium as they can get before the age of 16. After this age the body’s ability to absorb calcium is greatly reduced.
So what are we to do?
For starters, my daughter takes her lunch to school so we can make sure she’s eating properly, i.e., NO Chocolate milk! Secondly, if she does get Chocolate milk, it’s a rare treat, NOT a daily part of her diet.
What do you think? Should we limit the amount of Chocolate milk our kids are drinking? Do you think it should be removed from school cafeterias?
I’d really love to know what you’re thinking! Or am I the only one who feels this way?