Ahhh… flavored milk. We have all sampled the goodness of flavored milk – whether you buy it in the grocery store or pick it up in the school lunch line. But in recent years, flavored milk has been the topic of much discussion-- does chocolate or strawberry flavored milk have the same nutrients that white milk contains? Is chocolate milk good for kids? What about added sugar? These questions and more have been discussed and researched at length in order to help you choose the best option for you and your family. Let’s take a look.
To start, did you know flavored milk contains the same unique nutrient package as white milk? It’s true! The protein, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, phosphorus, and niacin you find in white milk are also found in flavored milk. So, not only are you enjoying a delicious drink, it is healthy to boot!
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines identified calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and fiber as four key nutrients of concern: nutrients that most Americans aren’t good at including their diets. Milk, white or flavored, provides a good source of three of the four! These nutrients are essential for optimal health and can help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis.
What about “added sugar” and what does it mean in relation to milk? Milk naturally contains 12 grams of lactose (natural sugar) in every cup. Sugar is then added to make the various flavors of milk we enjoy. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a healthy diet that contains less than 10% of calories from added sugars. In relation to calories, added sugars in flavored milk represent as little as 30 extra calories from added sugar.
It’s all about balance. Research shows that flavored milk only contributes to three percent of added sugar in a child’s diet and has no negative impact on weight gain. Not to mention, with the under consumed nutrients contained in milk, flavored milk is a perfect way to eat a balanced diet that includes three servings of dairy daily.
Enjoying flavored milk in conjunction with a balanced diet is the key to its success. After going through the research, there is no denying that flavored milk helps children and adults alike get the important nutrients their body needs.
For more information on flavored milk, visit:
Nutrition Today: Eliminating Flavored Milk in Schools
Flavored Milk FAQ's
Chocolate Milk in Schools: Authoritative Nutrition Guidance Recognizes the Positive Role of Flavored Milk