Get Schooled on Flavored Milk
Should we offer kids low-fat flavored milk in schools? Let the facts put your sugar fears to rest.
Kids need the nutrients in milk.
Milk is the number one source for three of the four nutrients that kids are lacking, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Drinking flavored milk can help children meet the recommendation for three daily servings of dairy foods, while providing key nutrients necessary for growth and development.
Less Sugar Than You Think
Flavored milk in schools today doesn’t have as much sugar as the kind you buy in the grocery store – on average, just 6 grams of added sugars.
School Flavored Milk contributes 4% of added sugar and the same 13 essential nutrients as white milk to kids’ diets.
Carbonated Soda and Fruit Drinks contribute 45% of added sugar and little to no nutrients to kids’ diets.
On average, each carton or serving of flavored milk a child drinks at school has only 6 grams of added sugar and 120 calories.
Kids drink less milk when they can’t get flavored.
A national study showed that when you remove flavored milk from elementary schools, kids drink 35 percent less milk – and that number did not rebound over time. A similar study in Canada showed that overall milk consumption decreased by 48 percent in a four-week period.
Flavored milk drinkers are just as likely to maintain a healthy weight as other kids.
Children who drink flavored milk, drink more milk overall, have better quality diets, do not have higher intakes of added sugar or fat and are just as likely to be at a healthy weight when compared with kids who do not drink flavored milk.
- A critical review of the role of milk and other dairy products in the development of obesity in children and adolescents
- Study suggests obese children who meet milk guidelines have less risk of metabolic syndrome
- The Relationship Between Flavored Milk Consumption, Diet Quality, Body Weight, and BMI z-Score Among Children and Adolescents of Different Ethnicities
- Colorado School District Impact Study on the Elimination of Flavored Milk (2011)
- Impact on Milk Consumption and Nutrient Intakes from Eliminating Flavored Milk in Elementary Schools (2013)
- Chocolate Milk Consequences: A Pilot Study Evaluating the Consequences of Banning Chocolate Milk in School Cafeterias (2014)
- American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Snacks, Sweetened Beverages, Added Sugars, and Schools, 2015
- Children and Adolescents’ Choices of Foods and Beverages High in Added Sugars Are Associated With Intakes of Key Nutrients and Food Groups (Journal of Adolescent Health, 2004)
- Flavored Milk Consumers Drank More Milk and Had a Higher Prevalence of Meeting Calcium Recommendation Than Nonconsumers
- American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report: Optimizing Bone Health in Children and Adolescents
Dairy farmers are working with local schools to keep kids healthy.