Banned Milk - Feedback Friday

Los Angeles schools have decided to take a stand against childhood obesity by eliminating flavored milks (strawberry and chocolate) from their school menus effective July 1.

This flavored milk ban has also happened in other areas including, District of Columbia, Boulder Valley, Colorado, and Berkeley, California. The L.A. school district superintendent proposed this ban after famed chef Jamie Oliver criticized schools for serving this sugary beverage to children.

Tamar Galatzan, a school board member, opposed the decision by commenting "I really don't understand why we're letting a TV chef dictate our policy," It was noted that "the district serves fruit juices containing 27 to 29 grams of sugar per serving, more than the amount of sugar in flavored milk — 20 grams in 8 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk and 27 grams in fat-free strawberry."

The Institute of Medicine states that recent studies have shown that girls aged nine to 18 may be the only Americans in need of more calcium. However, chocolate and other flavored milks dominate 60 to 70 percent of all milk consumed in schools.

Washington school districts attempted to eliminate chocolate milk from elementary school menus last year only to reintroduce it months later after a backlash of emails from parents who worried that their children were being robbed of precious calcium and vitamin D.

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you believe flavored milks should be banned from school menus?

Would your child drink white milk if it was all that was offered? Would this ban effect your child's calcium intake?

Will this change make a difference in the childhood obesity statistics?


  1. Just to give a visual, 29 grams of sugar is a little over 3 tablespoons of sugar...an even more interesting question is "should we, the taxpayers, be paying for school subsidized lunches, or free lunches?" Children are obese because they are not exercising after school and are using technology in excess, which makes them immobile....and even more importantly, why is it cheaper to buy a Happy Meal than a bunch of grapes or a bag of oranges. I have these discussions with my students all the time!! Now I 'll get off the podium...enjoy the weekend!

  2. Really, do they think taking their chocolate milk away is going to make a difference. How about take away their x-box kick them outside to get some exercise. Go run, ride your bike, play ball just get up and move....

  3. Really...they think removing chocolate and strawberry milk from their menu is going to reduce childhood obesity?! The milk isn't the problem. Try pizza, full fat chips, cookies, fast food and parents that can't say no to unhealthy food choices! And an extreme lack of exercise! Sorry...I don't play the blame game...

  4. I agree with The Strength. My daughter's school has ice cream and other snack goodies available to purchase at any time. She has been sneaking snacks all year on her lunch account. At her last school each grade could purchase a goodie once a week and only with cash. That way their parents could control when and if they had something other than the lunch. On the days I visited, her special goodie day, the kids only ate their ice cream or snack cakes and threw away the food. I was glad they only had that option once a week!

  5. Jamie never said getting rid of chocolate milk will cure childhood obesity. It was one specific thing he could target and only one step in the right direction. Good for him. I love that he's out there trying to teach people about better eating and trying to get school districts to give our children better meals. Who better than a chef to teach people about food? He tries to get in to schools and rework menus to show how you can have great tasting food with healthy ingredients. The kids love him and really get in to learning about vegetables and healthy eating. Kids can eat better when given better choices.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I feel he's got a good message and he's saying what we're saying -- good food and better food choices make for healthier children.

  6. We don't have cows milk in our house. We have almond milk. My kids hate the schools milk and drink water with their lunch. My son will get the chocolate milk sometimes.

    I don't think this will change child obesity. To me that is more of a learned behavior from the environment in which a child lives. Not that the school shouldn't teach about healthy food and healthy choices but I don't think eliminating flavored milk at lunch time will change the statistics.

    As far as getting calcium - there are far better ways to get calcium then by consuming milk.

  7. No, i don't think it's a cure either, but the thing is children are ADDICTED to sugar because of things like this. I don't believe that bribing children to do the things they need to do is the way to go. Clean their rooms, brush their teeth, drink their milk - I just believe they should be doing these things without us having to bribe them with money or sugar.

    And I really do think that if the juice they're serving has more sugar than the milk THEN GET RID OF THE JUICE. The teachers certainly would appreciate it! The choices of white milk or water wouldn't kill them.

  8. I can't help but think that one carton of milk won't undo the candy bars and happy meals that are being consumed all day every day.

  9. How 'bout they start with the tater tots, pizza, corndogs, etc and leave the flavored milk alone....

    Then make those kids go play outside!

  10. There are so many worse things than choc. and strawberry milk (although in my opinion strawberry milk is disgusting!). Do I think removing it from schools would combat obesity? No, but removing it from schools would be a step in teaching kids about healthy choices (something unfortunately too many kids aren't learning at home) ~ especially if it was explained to the kids WHY it was removed.

    There is so much more to the obesity epidemic than flavored milk ~ food choices, screen time, and play (exercise!) time to name a few. Unfortunately, many of these kids are learning their behaviors from the examples set in their homes and by a lack of rules and expectations.

  11. My son loves white milk and will ask for it over any other drink choice we give him. Chocolate milk is a special treat but I certainly don't think that taking it away from kids at school is the answer. I'd much prefer my kid to be drinking chocolate or strawberry milk than fruit juice. and I agree with Mama Thompson - the rest of the school lunch choices are complete crap and have little nutritional value, so why on earth aren't they starting there??

  12. The stink that the LA school district put up just getting rid of chocolate milk was ridiculous. I can't imagine trying to get their thick heads to revamp the rest of the school lunches.

    I let me son have chocolate milk, but I don't want him to have that as a choice all the time. Same with fruit juices. He LOVES white milk and water. I want him to keep going in that healthy direction.

  13. ~Change can be painful but should not be avoided for that reason.

    ~ Obesity is a serious problem in this nation no question there.

    ~Decrease in ativity and increase in the amount of processed food has contributed equally.

    ~Calcium is plentyful in many other foods.

    ~This is a small step but it is a step in the right direction.

  14. I believe that the government, and school is government, sometimes over steps their bounds into the realm of personal choice. I am almost 30 and cannot stand the taste of milk, even as an infant I did not like milk. My mom had to make soy formula for me. If I did not drink chocolate milk as a child I would NEVER have had any milk. I still didn't drink it that often, maybe on Saturdays. In fact, my milk distaste includes pre-sweetened chocolate milk. It is just too thick.

    Additionally, when my son was weaning I could not get him to drink milk. Our pediatrician said it was perfectly fine to add some flavor to the milk. We went with strawberry; he doesn't like chocolate anything. I use about a half tsp of powder which is WAY less sugar than other drinks.

    Okay, so all this rambling is to say that sweetening milk is a personal choice. Taste bud cannot be dictated by the government or anyone else. People cannot be made truly uniformed and forced to enjoy the same things, no matter how much it is tried.

  15. I think they need to redesign their entire menus if they really want to make any change at all.
    My kids love milk and will drink it whether it is white or choc. One tiny menu change is not going to make a difference at all.

  16. Hey Jen,

    I think it needs to be understood that this ruling was not shoved down the parents throats. The LA school district had over 6,000 parental signatures on a petition to ban the flavored milks.

    No..it will not fix the obesity problem, but you have to start with the obvious little things.

    As a few have mentioned above, you can get more calcium from a variety of other foods. Milk is not the end all and be all of the calcium foods.

    Nuts..many veggies..fish..cheeses..eggs..yogurts can all be a good source of calcium.

    You also need vitamin D to absorb the calcium, so yes...kids need to get outside and play more.

    Our bodies have absolutely no use for all the added processed sugar in flavored milk.

    You want your child to have choc milk...fine, serve it to them at home. The school lunches are Gov. subsidized and that is why it is a concern to the public.

    They are not telling you what you can or can't serve your child at home...just what taxpayers should not have to pay for.

    Obese children often have more health problems that continue to adulthood. That my friends eventually will effect all our healthcare costs.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to start somewhere.

    Bless Mr. Oliver for even caring about our children. At least he is trying to make a difference.

    Janet xox

  17. my kids would have no problem drinking regular milk. If we put healthy choices in front of them early they will continue to make healthy choices later too.

  18. We too have had to give our son, who is underweight, flavored milk to help him gain some weight. It seems to me this is a politically motivated choice, not really out of concern for the kids. School days are longer than they were 20 years ago, which much less activity and way more homework. Lets get our educational system figured out before we start controlling milk cartons. A half hour of play would easily burn off that sugar and wake up their minds as well.

  19. I really agree with Janet. We have to start somewhere. If a child can't drink milk without flavoring, maybe it's their bodies way of telling them not to drink milk.

  20. One step in the right direction is better than no step at all.

    It isn't a quick fix, nor do I think it was ever claimed to be the 'cure' for childhood obesity. It is just one step in a very long road to turn things around.

  21. I hardly think milk is the problem,more like the case of Cheetos they eat while spending hours not going outside and playing......

  22. I am in the UK and the options at lunch here are a carton of fruit juice or water. Milk is only available to the 5-7 year olds and is served as a snack mid morning.
    I watched the Jamie Oliver programmes and although I think getting rid of the flavoured milk is a step forward it will not make much difference if schools like the one he was in still count a portion of fries as a vegetable and serve bread rolls when carbs are 'missing' from the meal....

  23. I think it's great that they are trying to help reduce childhood obesity, but I really don't think cutting out flavored milk is going to help. There are way too many other things, like pizza, chips, deep fried chicken nuggets, and other school lunch items that are far more unhealthy than flavored milk.

    And, as mentioned, I think flavored milk does help kids to get their calcium. I personally LOATHE the taste of milk, and the ONLY way I will drink it is with flavor, in the the form of yogurt or something. If I only had plain milk as an option, I wouldn't take it. I say if it's milk, it's milk, and take it at that. Kids need ranch dipping sauce to eat carrots, but at least they are eating carrots. I think cutting out unhealthy lunch menu items would have a much greater impact than getting rid of calcium rich chocolate milk.

  24. I don't think it's a cure at all, but I don't support having lots of sugar options for their diet. We live in an area that has a surprisingly high number of kids who use the free/reduced lunch & breakfast programs. It makes me shudder to see the kids loading up on sugared cereals, bakery items, and flavored drinks for breakfast, only to go back for lunch and get more of the same.

    I honestly feel that until parents take responsibility for feeding their kids healthy food--then the problem will continue. I don't have perfect kids. My daughter doesn't like milk, so she drinks water and has multi vitamins or almond milk with me. My son is a picky-eater-nightmare, so he's a bit hungry tonight. Maybe he will learn to eat spaghetti someday. He needs to understand that not all food comes in nugget, burger, chip or pizza form.

  25. I know I am late to the game here but I had to put in my 2 cents. As someone who has battled my whole life with my weight, I see any move in the right direction as positive.

    I am also wondering if my school district is really the only one where the school lunches aren't junk and they are actively trying to make them healthier every semester? We have a traveling fruit and veggie bar that moves around the district where all children whether they having a school lunch or something from home are welcome to come and get free fruits and veggies - bananas and carrots to radishes and kiwi. The kids have salad on the menu a few times a week and the chicken nuggets are chicken breast with whole wheat breading and baked. There is no more pizza and when they do have hamburgers they are turkey. The breads they serve are whole grain and the menus that come home mark the choices for everyday (from the menu): Menu items that are color coded with green are GO foods. These foods are the healthier
    choices and can be eaten any time.
    Yellow coded food items are SLOW foods. SLOW foods are not off limits, but they should be
    eaten in moderation. Remember to fill up on your GO foods!
    The red food items are known as WHOA foods. These foods should be chosen sparingly,
    and should always be paired with GO foods.

    Our district participates in the USDA Healthier US School Challenge. As more and more schools address the nutrition in their lunches, the more other districts will see that it does work. I appreciate that our district is taking the time to reinforce nutrition with my kids through both the lunchroom and their PE teacher. It's this kind of thinking that will help the kids not to choose the happy meals and cheetos when they are at home.


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