Got sugar? Remove flavored milk from school cafeterias

Sugary milk can be fine as an occasional treat, but it shouldn’t be served twice a day in school cafeterias.


Got sugar? Chances are, your kids do. Sugary, flavored milk is increasingly given to children twice a day in their school cafeterias.


An open letter to the Cheshire (CT) Board of Education:

Kids today get bombarded by junk food, but do they really need to be served sugary drinks during breakfast and lunch at school? Please remove sugary, flavored milk from Cheshire schools.

Some people will claim that serving sugary milk is nutritious because kids will not drink plain milk. Schools such as those in Boulder, Colo., that only offer plain milk, though, saw the levels of milk consumption go back up after initially dipping. Also, most American kids get plenty of dairy, and there are healthier ways for them to get their calcium than drinking sugary milk.

“Saying we need to add sugar and flavoring to milk to get kids to drink it is like saying we need to feed kids apple pie if they don’t like apples,” said Ann Cooper, the Boulder, Colo., school food director, as quoted in the New York Times.

In addition to all the unnecessary added sugar, serving kids flavored milk at school teaches the wrong lesson that sugar needs to be added to something for it to be tasty. One of my sons, a sweets maniac, is perfectly happy to drink plain milk when it’s the only thing available. Give him a choice, though, and he will always choose chocolate. That choice is fine as an occasional treat, but it shouldn’t be given by the school system for two meals a day for 180 days a year. That’s junk, and it’s teaching kids to get hooked on sugar.

Research in support of serving flavored milk at school is funded by the dairy industry, which has an expensive advertising campaign to push sugary milk in schools. Cheshire’s nutrition services director, Ms. Madeleine Diker, cited only this research in support of Cheshire’s decision to serve sugary milk. Cheshire’s children deserve better. A serving of strawberry milk has as much sugar as a serving of Coke (some of it occurs naturally in the form of lactose). Just like soda was once considered all right to have at school but was then removed over health concerns, it’s time for flavored milk to go.

I know that we all want what is best for Cheshire’s children. Please remove flavored milk from Cheshire schools.


What do you think? Should flavored milk be served to schoolchildren?

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About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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10 Responses to Got sugar? Remove flavored milk from school cafeterias

  1. What a good informative post. Thank you

  2. MultipleMum says:

    It totally should be! What is with that??? My boy gets to have a ‘lunch order’ once a fortnight and I do allow him to have a low-fat choc milk drink but if they were serving it to him twice a day I would be very peeved! Thanks for Rewinding x
    MultipleMum recently posted..Weekend Rewind – The opinion post editionMy Profile

  3. Tracy says:

    Is it weird that I sipped on my (pretty much) daily serving of chocolate milk while I read this?!? I have an 8oz Horizon box most days for a snack (I’m 38, so sometimes I get some looks!), and I often use it to quickly refuel after a long run.

    I’m sure my feelings on this are clouded by my own childhood, during which I had no health issues and happily had a small (tiny really compared to today’s servings) chocolate milk most days at lunch. I have always hated regular milk and only use it on cereal. I was stubborn, if my choices were regular milk or go thirsty, I went thirsty. Without chocolate milk, ice cream, and Flintstone vitamins, I never would have consumed any calcium!

    But I hear what you are saying, even though I grew up to be healthy, I am pretty attached to sugar (last year, Horizon changed their formula on their chocolate milk boxes, to reduce the amount of added sugar. And I was so mad. It really didn’t taste as good to me. But I got used to it, so yes perhaps we don’t need to add as much sugar to make things taste good). And twice a day??? That does seem excessive.

    So I’m with you…as long as I can still drink it!
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  4. Patty says:

    Call me old fashioned but children do not need any type of “flavored” milk on top of the sugary juices, cereals and snacks they consume on a daily basis.

    Frankly, I feel that it is shameful for any school district to encourage adding sugar as an enticement in order to get children to consume a food item, especially with the plague of childhood obesity that is sweeping across this country.
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  5. Rebecca says:

    Sugar was my main staple growing up because I had a dad who was hooked on it. He ate well and luckily never suffered any of the ill effects from overconsumption but I can’t say the same about me. My formative years of overconsumption led to serious health issues later in life and overtaxed my pancreas. Today, I follow a diet low on sugar and have become well educated in all the other forms it goes by – any ingredient ending in “ose,” high fructose syrup, etc. Sugar is in almost everything that we consume and so label reading is a must. Back to basics or eating the way your grandparents ate is best – fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, etc. And milk for me btw severely messes with my blood sugar because of lactose (sugar). And milk is not as good for you as advertisers would like you to think aside from the sugar issue. I gave up milk almost a year ago, gonne are the spikes in sugar and the mucus. Milk is very mucus producing. Good luck on your quest to have the flavored milk taken off as as choice. I hope you get results.

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