Flavored Milk! An Important Nutrient-Rich Choice « BackPrintEmail Friend
Flavored milks are nutrient-rich and provide the same nutrients and benefits as unflavored milk.
Milk - whether white or flavored - plays a vital role in helping Americans, especially children, meet critical nutrient needs as identified in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines (DGA). Flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk - calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin. According to the 2010 DGA, milk is the number one food source of three of the four nutrients that both children and adults are lacking and need to consume more of - Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium.
While there are some added sugars, flavored milk drinkers don't have higher intakes of added sugars or total fats than children who do not consume flavored milk. And, they have higher intakes of calcium. Furthermore, the DGA recognize that small amounts of sugar added to nutrient-dense foods, such as reduced-fat milk products, may increase a person's intake of such foods by enhancing palatability of these products, thus improving nutrient intake without contributing excessive calories.
Recent media attention has parents and food service professionals alike taking a closer look at flavored milk in schools. In response, MilkPEP has completed an in-depth study that shows how students' consumption and nutrition are negatively impacted when schools limit or eliminate flavored milk. See executive summary or www.milkdelivers.org for full study and additional resources.
For more information on the role of flavored milk in overall nutrition, view this resource from National Dairy Council
Research suggests chocolate milk is the popular choice in schools and if not an option, kids will drink less milk and get fewer essential nutrients.
With the nation’s focus on improving children’s nutrition and health, some school districts have eliminated flavored milk as a choice for students based on the concern that this beverage contributes to childhood obesity. However, this decision ignores the potential for unintended adverse effects on children’s nutrition and health, and the science supporting the benefits of flavored milk for children.
There’s a nutrient powerhouse in a variety of flavors that today’s kids love. That beverage is milk, delivering 9 essential nutrients, including some that appear to be seriously lacking in children’s diets today.
When flavored milk was eliminated, elementary student milk consumption dropped dramatically, an average of 35%. The drop came from a combination of fewer students selecting milk and more milk being discarded.
When it comes to nutrition, other beverage choices don’t even come close to milk. Check out how some popular beverages stack up nutritionally to milk – the nutrient power house.
There is a lot of talk about eliminating flavored milk in schools, but what impact will that have on our children’s nutrition? Without flavor options, will children continue to drink milk? If not, will they be able to get the nutrients they need?
Elementary student milk consumption dropped an average of 35% when flavors were not offered.