forum: Jamie's Food Revolution

#1 Wed 08 Sep 10 7:08pm


Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

California Inland Empire schools Fight to end chocolate Milk

09:49 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The Press-Enterprise

In school cafeterias across the Inland Empire, students face an important decision every day: White or chocolate milk?

Most choose chocolate. Kids say it tastes better.

"It has chocolate in it," Danny Calzaca, a second-grader at Alta Murrieta Elementary School, said recently after slurping up the contents of his 8-ounce chocolate milk pouch.

It may be kids' first choice, but some critics say chocolate milk has too much sugar. And, given the childhood obesity epidemic facing the country, they say it shouldn't be offered in schools at all.

Research has shown that adding chocolate or other flavoring may be the best way to get kids to drink more milk, according to available studies.

Almost one of every three students was overweight or obese in fifth, seventh and ninth grades in Riverside County public schools, according to 2009 physical fitness data analyzed by the county Department of Public Health.

The Florida State Board of Education considered banning chocolate milk from schools in that state earlier this year because of such concerns. A vote was delayed, but the board is expected to take it up again this month, spokeswoman Deborah Higgins said in an e-mail.

Temecula parent Amy Quinn, a nutrition coach who works with families to improve their diets, said she would support such an idea. Quinn, the mother of a 6-year-old who attends Abby Reinke Elementary School, packs water in her daughter's lunch.

"Removing chocolate milk, I think that would be wonderful," she said. "It's just contributing to the sugar that is so heavy in the diets of kids and adults these days."

Inland child nutrition directors say questions about chocolate milk's role in school lunches are arising more often, but so far none has stopped serving it.

Food service officials say they don't mind that about 80 percent of Inland students choose sugar-sweetened chocolate milk over white milk in school cafeterias because at least they are drinking milk.

"Above and beyond anything else, it's about getting the calcium into these kids," said Jill Lancaster, director of nutrition services for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. "If it takes a little bit of chocolate to make the medicine go down, so be it."

Schools in California can't sell soda. In addition to milk, Riverside schools offer three kinds of 100 percent juice or water, said Rodney Taylor, director of Nutrition Services for Riverside Unified School District.

Riverside schools serve typical milk offerings of nonfat chocolate milk and 2 percent white milk, both with 130 calories per 8-ounce carton. The chocolate milk has 23 grams of sugar, compared to white milk's 13 grams.

a Sweet choice

Food service workers at Alta Murrieta Elementary know what students like.

During a lunch last week, the cafeteria beverage cooler was well stocked with chocolate milk pouches, which statistics show are preferred by 88 percent of the school's students who drink milk. A tiny section of the cooler held regular milk pouches.

Some students said they would choose juice, not white milk, if chocolate were no longer offered.

"I wouldn't really care because there would still be juice," fifth-grader Megan Addonizio said.

That's one of the major arguments for keeping chocolate milk. Taylor is among those who worry fewer students would drink any milk at all if chocolate weren't offered.

Taylor said more comprehensive studies are needed about whether students really would drink plain milk if it were the only choice. Limited studies and pilot projects across the country suggest that students would not only drink less milk, they would buy fewer school lunches, Taylor said.

Betsey Adams, director of child nutrition for the Corona-Norco Unified School District, said the School Nutrition Association recently participated in a webinar with the Milk Processor Education Program.

In the dairy industry's studies, overall milk consumption dropped 35 percent when 58 schools nationwide stopped offering chocolate milk. Milk consumption didn't rebound in the second year at schools in the second year of that study.

What's more, when students took white milk, they drank less and wasted more of it in that study, which can be seen at

Lisa Harris, director of child nutrition services for Alvord Unified School District, which includes parts of Riverside and Corona, said her experience bears out the study's findings.

"Years ago in a different district, when we introduced chocolate milk, we did see milk consumption go up," Harris said. "It was more than double the amount."

San Bernardino City Unified School District spokeswoman Linda Bardere said students there also choose nonfat chocolate milk about 80 percent of the time, although they drink more white milk at breakfast than lunch.


Schools are required to offer milk with breakfast and lunch by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the National School Lunch Program. But schools have the flexibility to decide what type of milk is offered, spokeswoman Jean Daniel said. The department is considering a recommendation to allow flavored milk only if it were low-fat.

"We do know children are not consuming enough milk," she said.

**** and teenage girls are developing the beginnings of osteoporosis and weakening of bones because they don't consume enough calcium, Daniel said.

Three of the five nutrients that most often fall short in children's diets are delivered by milk, said Julie Maniord, public health nutritionist and registered dietitian with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Nutrition Program.

Chocolate milk is "better than not drinking milk, and it's certainly better than other sugar-sweetened beverages that are more the culprits in childhood obesity," Maniord said.

Chocolate has three or four teaspoons more sugar than white milk with the same fat content, a 48 to 64 calorie difference, said Debbie Suess, registered dietitian with the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

Most Inland districts offer nonfat chocolate milk and low-fat white milk.

The white versus chocolate milk debate is only a piece of the healthy eating issue. Most children and adults don't eat enough leafy greens and orange vegetables, Daniel said.

"Only 3 percent of us nationwide meet all dietary guidelines," she said. "We're not eating enough whole grains, and we're eating too many calories and not exercising enough." … 4cb09.html

Last edited by lovz2sun (Wed 08 Sep 10 7:09pm)

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#2 Wed 08 Sep 10 9:02pm


Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: California Inland Empire schools Fight to end chocolate Milk

Welcome to the forum lovz2sun  smile

As your post simply contains the newspaper article and no comments, I am unsure if you are in favor or not of chocolate milk being removed from the schools.

When I was a child in school in the UK , we had plain white milk..nothing added..just milk.
When my children were at school they had plain white milk..nothing added..just milk.
And at school today ( I am classroom help ) I saw the children being given plain white milk..nothing added..just milk.

The article above that you have posted mentions  this...

""We do know children are not consuming enough milk," she said.

**** and teenage girls are developing the beginnings of osteoporosis and weakening of bones because they don't consume enough calcium, Daniel said."

This , and the sugar content of the chocolate milk should in my mind be enough to get the milk removed from the schools.

I read the article and checked out the link, the link has a diagram with the milk values for both non fat chocolate milk and 2% milk next to each other.
I note that the non fat chocolate milk (obviously) has less fat than the 2% milk surprise here as its written on the product !

The non fat chocolate milk has 10% LESS calcium in it than the 2% milk
The non fat chocolate milk has significantly MORE SUGAR  and contains 23 grams whilst the 2% milk contains 13 grams.
Chocolate milk also contains LESS protein  ,8 grams  ,whilst the 2% milk contains 10 grams.
Calorific value is it seems the same with both milks having 130 calories.

So...chocolate milk...same calories , less fat , more sugar, less calcium , less protein.

The children , it seems have the chocolate milk offered to them twice a day.

I can see why Mr Oliver bought a wheelbarrow full of sugar cubes onto the stage and tipped it out , during his TED speech.

At the end of the day, children will drink what they are used to.

If they have only ever been given 'white milk' at school ,or ,water they would expect no different.

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#3 Wed 08 Sep 10 10:39pm


Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: California Inland Empire schools Fight to end chocolate Milk

I think that we should give our kids what they need not what they want.  If they only drink plain milk they will like it.  My daughter loves plain milk or when I make her chocolate milk I only add a drop of chocolate to add color to it, she doesn't know the difference and I only make it for her for special dinners.  My daughter is very picky and has a syndrome that makes it so she doesn't gain weight so at times it is so hard to tell her no to the sweets.  But even though she will never have to fight the weight gain I think that what is giong in her body is imporante even though she will never see any fat on her.  She hates veggies but I puree them and hide them in the foods she likes.  The fatty foods she likes I try to find better ways to make them so they are healthier.  It makes me healthy too. smile  I would love to see the schools be more proactive on the health of our children.  If they learn early enough on how to eat healthy that is about 90% of the battle.

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#4 Wed 22 Dec 10 12:02pm


Occupation Musician, arts admin
From Birmingham, UK
Member since Wed 22 Dec 10

Re: California Inland Empire schools Fight to end chocolate Milk

Got to agree, kids will eat what they're used to. A friend's 3-year-old daughter has just finished growing out of a temporary dairy allergy, however she refuses dairy milk, butter, cheese etc as she's used to the taste of the soya-based alternatives. They're fortified with extra calcium so they're certainly not doing her any harm.

As a child I was only ever given unflavoured milk by my parents. At a friend's birthday party, given strawberry milk for the first time, I was horrified and nearly threw up! Why would anyone do that to perfectly good milk? If I'd wanted something sweet, I would've asked for ice cream. I've never touched flavoured milk since: that one experience was vile enough to put me off forever. Maybe this is coincidence, but I can't stand sugary tea either.

Also I know many people who will not eat haggis but I was introduced to it when I was little and I always knew what the ingredients were, and it was never a problem because I loved the taste so much! I still do.

Eating habits established in childhood can last a lifetime, whether they're good or bad, so I don't understand why so many schools don't care about food. I thought they were all about educating us for the future - instead, many schools (though not all) seem to be sabotaging our efforts to ensure our children eat a healthy and varied diet.

Do you want your chicken in nuggets, sticky BBQ wings, or smothered in cheese today?!  roll

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#5 Wed 22 Dec 10 3:02pm


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Occupation SAHM of 4
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Member since Sun 28 Mar 10

Re: California Inland Empire schools Fight to end chocolate Milk

When I was in school we had white milk.  Nothing else.  If you had a milk allergy, you had to supply a note to the nurse and then you could get orange drink.  That was it.  No discussion, no choice. 

I am in agreement with remove chocolate milk and get that juice the hell out of there too.  My kids get one glass of juice a day.  They know it and accept it.  Kids are getting juice boxes and chocolate milk everywhere they turn.  It's time to reduce the availability. 

Another thing that gets my goat is that they offer water...but it's crazy expensive.  Now, I know and you know that if you buy water in bulk, it doesn't cost anywhere near $1.00 or $1.50 a bottle.  It's a product the school doesn't have to process or handle in any way besides stocking it so why is the mark-up so high that it makes it even less desirable to the kids????

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