Mmm, milk. Does the body good, right? Well, most of the time. But the flavored milks that many schools offer – chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and even coffee – pack a whopping seven teaspoons of sugar per 8-ounce serving. That’s the same as an 8-ounce soda! Say what!?
So, considering this not-so-sweet tidbit of information, and being a bit of a nutrition nerd, I was happy to hear that Washington D.C. public schools will put an end to selling flavored milks and sugary cereals this fall. And the trend seems to be catching on – Florida's Board of Education is now entertaining a similar policy.
But of course, with a big change comes big opposition. Critics argue that not enough kids will drink regular milk if it's the only milk option. Flavored milk, they say, is better than no milk at all, because underneath all the sugar, the nutritional benefits (vitamin D, calcium, etc) are the same as those of regular milk.
They have a point, but who's to say that over time our kids won't adjust to regular milk being the only option? I think we owe it to them, and their health, to see if this can work. Personally, I’d rather get my added sugar from the Oreo I’ll be dunking in my milk, not the milk itself (but that's just me).
So tell us what you think: Should flavored milks be banned from schools? And if so, what beverage options should schools offer?