Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silly chocolate milk ban

There's been lots of talk this week about banning chocolate milk in schools. As though that's going to resolve the problem of obesity in kids. Right. Let's just stop drinking chocolate milk.
Sure. I get it. It's just another sweet food and kids should learn to enjoy milk without having to flavor it. Join us in the real world, people. Lots of kids don't like milk. Especially skim milk. Please, don't tell me that "humans" weren't meant to drink cow's milk. Heard that before. Makes me laugh. Were we "meant" to eat potatoes? Broccoli? Tofu?
Yes, cow's milk is food for calves and we usurp it. Got that. But it's chock full of nutrients that, yes, can come from other sources but are found in milk and, therefore, anything made from milk. Skim or lowfat milk is an easy source of protein and lots of minerals, calcium among them.
Yes, some people are lactose intolerant. So let them drink other beverages that are calcium fortified. I'll stick with milk.
Back to chocolate milk: Most kids get one serving of a milk a day at school. Maybe two if they're eating breakfast as well as lunch. Gosh, two servings of chocolate milk. Do you think that's what makes them fat? Or might it be the fast food, snack foods and sugary drinks they consume away from school? Or lack of exercise? Or a combination. But don't let's blame chocolate milk for making kids fat.
Should school districts work with the dairy industry/food manufacturers to make chocolate milk with less sugar in it? Sure. And wouldn't we just love it if the kids learned to drink "white" milk? Yes. But chocolate milk is not a product of the devil sent to earth to fatten up our little kids.
How about working on adding more fruits and vegetables to school lunch rather than spending time damning chocolate milk.
And, by the way, there have been plenty of studies supporting the notion that chocolate milk is an excellent post work out beverage--way better than plain unflavored milk. I'm not making that up.
So let's choose our battles a little bit more wisely. I'm happy that sodas are out of schools. How about working on changing the idea that kids will only eat pizza and chicken nuggets?

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