Flavored Milk in 2011

Flavored Milk In 2011

Mon 26 Dec 2011

Story by The Food Revolution Team

One of the biggest topics for the Food Revolution this year was the unnecessary sugar and additives in flavored milk.

The Food Revolution stands for providing kids the freshest food and best nutrition. The endless supply of sweetened, flavored milk showing up on lunch trays every day at breakfast and lunch is representative of just how backwards our school food system has become.

One of the great things about milk in schools is it’s a decision that’s made locally. In recent years, a handful of pioneering districts have shown that flavored milk can be removed with great success, replaced by pure, white milk and crisp drinking water. You can read our stories about leaders like Boulder, CO; Washington, DC; and New Haven, CT.

Public Demand For Pure, White Milk

The Food Revolution launched a campaign to swell those ranks. More than 50,000 people signed our national flavored milk petition. In particular, we brought the conversation to Los Angeles, America’s second largest school district.

With the public clamoring for change, Dr. John Deasy, LAUSD’s new superintendent, made a public commitment on national TV to remove flavored milk from LA’s public schools. In mid-June the LAUSD Board upheld that decision. That was a big win!

On June 9th we held our first “Flavored Milk Day of Action” and nearly 300 community leaders signed up. We created a helpful Fact Sheet - The Hard Facts About Flavored Milk, developed an Action Planning Guide, and launched a special Facebook Page for our leaders.

Soon, more districts were announcing shifts away from flavored milk. Districts near to Los Angeles like El Monte City and Compton joined the movement, and Minneapolis, MN made national news with its own decision.

By back-to-school time, there were more than 1000 people among our milk leaders. We helped LAUSD explain to its own cafeteria staff why this change is so important. And we geared up for a Flavored Milk Week of Action for November.

For Milk Week, we created some helpful new resources: a “flavored milk calculator” to determine how much sugar kids are getting; flyers to use to promote local actions; and a petition letter to use with principals or district officials. We also hosted a great
webinar with first-hand-testimony from a food service director and
expert presentations.

Our second grassroots push on milk yielded impressive involvement by students and some hard-won lessons on what it takes to make change.

There are now 44 districts we know of serving only plain white milk, and about two dozen more in some stage of transition. In 2012 we look forward to working together with energized community members to support school nutrition staff ready to take a new approach to quality food and drink for our kids.

In the new year, we will grow our collection of amazing information and assets about milk, including examples of “How To” get this change done. Flavored milk is a treat, not an
everyday staple of breakfast and lunch.

The Food Revolution Team

Know of a district eliminating flavored milk we may have missed, or have a story to share? Email us at

Image of Jamie in front of the sugar filled school bus © Brandon Hickman, Graphics by Clever Creative.


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