When was the last time you had chocolate milk? Strawberry milk?
Assuming you are one of my adult readers, the likelihood that you've had a lot of chocolate or strawberry milk isn't, well, likely.
I don't see strawberry milk in stores, and there isn't a whole lot of chocolate milk. And I will assume that adults get plenty of white milk in their diets; otherwise, we would have heard something about that before now.
But we seem to want to treat our kids differently and feed them flavored milk in schools, assuming that they aren't getting enough milk in their diets. This is the rational for serving chocolate milk and strawberry milk in schools.
If we want to teach our children some valuable life skills, shouldn't we get them to drink regular milk in schools?
The assumption that kids can't survive without sugar-laden milk is ludicrous. If kids don't have the option, maybe they would just drink white milk.
Apparently, a lot of kids have this choice: 71% of milk served nationwide is flavored.
What is even worse is that most flavored milk contains our least favorite ingredient: high-fructose corn syrup. School children get enough high-fructose corn syrup supported by your tax dollars — milk should be a HFCS-free zone.
The good news is that some school districts are banning flavored milk. And kudos should be offered to Jamie Oliver, who should get a lot of credit for opening eyes to the idea of flavored milk.
As many changes as Oliver made in Huntington, West Virginia, getting flavored milk out of the schools was a defeat for Oliver.
The question has been reduced to "if our kids don't drink sugar-laden milk, they won't drink milk at all" versus "Flavored milk gives the kids too many sugar or high-fructose corn syrup in the middle of the day that they don't need."
Would love to know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment.
I will have more to say on this topic in this week's podcast, a Friday feature of BalanceofFood.com.