Ban on chocolate milk in schools backfires

Ban on chocolate milk in schools backfires

Many Oregon elementary schools banned chocolate milk recently only to discover that kids stopped drinking white skim milk, too.

The move was part of a healthy schools initiative meant to increase students' consumption of healthier fat-free milk, but researchers at Cornell University weren't surprised to discover the plan backfired.

They studied 11 Oregon elementary schools that replaced chocolate milk with skim. While the schools hoped children would drink an alternative with less sugar, many students stopped drinking milk altogether. In fact, researchers found that milk sales at the 11 schools fell by 10 percent with students wasting 29 percent more milk than before. In the end, students didn't consume as much calcium and protein.

When I went to school, nobody gave a second thought to selling pop or diet pop in our vending machines. Today's schools are different altogether with healthy food choices a mandatory part of our children's school day.

I would much rather see milk and chocolate milk sold at my kids' schools or in vending machines than juice or pop. Milk is important for growing bodies. While I'd rather my kids drank plain milk, I wouldn't object to allowing them to buy chocolate milk as a treat now and then. There are lower sugar versions and skim chocolate milk. Any of these would be a much better choice than what's available in vending machines off school property.

Banning chocolate milk altogether seems like a well-intentioned initiative, but not wise. As one of the study authors points out, there are other ways to encourage kids to drink white milk without outlawing chocolate milk altogether.

Some solutions including making white milk more convenient by displaying it in the front of the fridge where it's easier to reach. Another is making sure that half of the milk offered is white.

If schools are going to ban chocolate milk, the study suggests having a plan in place so kids can make up for lost calcium in other ways. I personally have never seen cheese in a vending machine, but maybe that's the wave of the future?

Would you rather your kids drank chocolate milk than no milk at all? Is chocolate milk served in your child's school? How else do you make sure they get enough calcium?


Reply to
  • Alison F.

    Cows milk isn't necessary or necessarily the only source of calcium or protein. Hate the availability of chocolate milk in schools, personally. It's like a gateway to sugar filled drinks. Why dick about with milk anyway? It's like why make reconstituted chicken into dinosaur shapes? Offer kids real food that looks like it's not been messed with, added to, processed beyond recognition and sugared up to 'make them want it'. Younger people's teeth and health outcomes are at dreadfully poor levels and 'we' are doing it to them. ...and whilst I'm on my soapbox... school rightly make the best attempts at educating them in healthy eating; outside play and gym every day.....then offer prizes for selling heaps of cookie dough/ chocolate bars and the like to friends and family. Ooohh it makes me cross :triumph:. As you were :slight_smile:

    • lennypuz

      Yes! Well said!

      • KaylaS

        Can't argue with that ;) It's nice that children these days atleast have some healthier alternative options than 15+ yrs ago when I was in school. It gives me some hope for the future...

      • lennypuz

        Milk shouldn't be given to kids anyways...we are not cows. So I am happy they banned the chocolate version as it is loaded with sugar not to mention the other health repercussions milk has. Now if they'd ban pop as well, they'd finally be getting somewhere.

        • KaylaS

          Lol! Cows produce the milk, they don't drink it... Last I checked they drank water and ate grass.

          • lennypuz

            Baby cows drink milk, its meant for them...just as we give breast milk to our babies. We are not cows, why are we drinking their milk...not natural and very cruel to rape the cows (just to go to slaughter in the end), then take their babies away from them just so we we can have a few minutes of pleasure to drink it. Not to mention how unhealthy it is for humans to consume. I suggest you get educated before making comments.

            • KaylaS

              I am most definitely more than educated for the likes of this humorous thread, but thank you very much for the laugh. You could have said cow calf then, not a generic cow statement. How ridiculous to even say that when most baby mammals consume mother's milk, not just cows... Good attempt at salvaging that though. And as we are on the subject of education, dairy cows are not the same as beef cattle and while they are also sadly slaughtered, they are not the main 'bovine' type to be bred for that use. Milking cows for human consumption has been happening for many centuries and can't so easily be reversed. Dairy cows are often in pain if not regularly milked as they can become engorged due to regular production rates.

              There is definitely a fine line between whether or not this is considered animal cruelty while raising beef cattle for the purpose of slaughter clearly seems to be. What's next, debating creationism versus evolutionism? 

        • Momma2As

          I allow my children to drink chocolate milk, homo milk, 2%, almond milk, soy milk... whatever milk these so choose. They are allowed to make this choice because I refuse to let them drink pop.

          • KaylaS

            My daughter's school has a great hot lunch program implemented that just more recently started offering white & chocolate milk beverage options to accompany their meals. Like so many other parents, I really liked this idea as an alternative to juice and/or pop. She generally receives 1 or 2 white milk cartons, depending on the meal plan that week and 1 chocolate carton per week, usually near the end of the week as a pre-weekend treat. Although she almost always drinks white skim milk at home, my daughter seems to really enjoy these additional options at school and while doing so gets a nice influx of calcium and vitamin D :)