Chocolate Milk….Friend or Foe?

A glass of milk Français : Un verre de lait

I don’t like white milk. I really never have. I will put enough in my cereal to get it damp, but that is about the extent of my milk consumption. I have never been one to sit down and enjoy a glass of cold milk with my cookies. I just do not like it. Chocolate milk however, now we’re on to something. I have bit of a sweet tooth, and a love for all things chocolate so it’s a no-brainer that I would love chocolate milk.

Recently, in efforts to combat childhood obesity, many schools (some even right here in Oklahoma) have started removing chocolate milk from their lunch lines. I have also met many mothers since I started my job here with Extension that tell me they refuse to give their children chocolate milk because they are concerned about the high sugar content.

So is chocolate milk our foe? Should we be avoiding it?

One of the most common arguments I hear from opponents of flavored milk is that it is too high in sugar. Yes, flavored milk does have a higher sugar content than white milk, this is not a lie. However something you may be surprised to know is that an 8 oz serving of chocolate milk contains only 12 more grams of sugar than the same amount of white milk. These 12 extra grams are still less sugar than other common kids drinks such as fruit punch and cola’s.

Another common misconception is that chocolate milk is not as nutritious as white milk, but this is simply not the case. Chocolate milk is packed with the same 9 essential nutrients as white milk. These including among others calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D. All which are crucial for healthy growing kid.

It is no lie that we American’s are consuming way more sugar than we need, but before we start cutting out everything sweet lets weigh the pro’s & con’s. Did you know that many schools are finding when they remove chocolate milk from the lunchroom instead of kids picking white milk they are picking no milk at all!? Missing out on those essential nutrients I mentioned that are so important for growth and development.

So don’t buy into the lie, chocolate milk is not your foe, and for people like me who don’t like white milk it can be a great friend! Believe me if you stopped and examined your family’s diet you would find plenty of other (less nutritious) areas where you can start cutting sugar out of your diet.