Is it time for schools to ban chocolate milk?

Citing health concerns, some school districts have already stopped serving sugary, flavored milk in their cafeterias

A San Francisco student guzzles the last drop of his chocolate milk during lunch: In Los Angeles, schools are banning all flavored milk to cut back on unnecessary sugar.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Under pressure to offer kids healthier food, schools are taking aim at a cherished childhood treat — chocolate milk. Some school districts won't serve flavored milk in their cafeterias, and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second largest, is the latest to experiment with cutting out chocolate and strawberry milk. "Chocolate milk is soda in drag," says Ann Cooper, a Colorado school nutritionist. "It works as a treat in homes, but it doesn't belong in schools." But some parents and dieticians say the benefits from milk's calcium and vitamins outweigh the harm of the added sugar. Will cutting out chocolate milk help in the fight against childhood obesity?

School is no place for this fattening treat: "Added sugar from chocolate milk may not seem like a big issue," says Joy Bauer at Today Moms, "but over time the extra calories and sugar add up," especially for kids who drink it every day. At the very least, offering children this liquid candy — in school, no less — sends the wrong message "at a time when so many kids are already struggling with their weight and unhealthy eating."

"Chocolate milk in schools: Yummy treat or evil sweet?"

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The food police will only make kids miserable: That moment when children get to "enjoy a carton of creamy, chocolaty goodness" is one of the best parts of the school day, says Jen Wielgus at "It's silly to deprive kids of this beloved beverage, because milk is still milk." Besides, there are far worse culprits to blame for the obesity epidemic. And if you parents teach your kids how to eat right and stay active, a little extra sugar won't hurt.

"Let the kids drink chocolate milk!"

Relax. Kids will survive without chocolate milk: Chocolate milk just isn't as good for you as regular milk, says Brooklyn Supper at Babble. One carton has five teaspoons of sugar — on par with a can of soda — making it "a poor accompaniment to a nutritious meal." It's not like kids will get no milk if they can't have the chocolate kind. If regular milk is their only option, they'll drink it.

"Chocolate milk bans: Coming to a school near you?"

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