There has been a long debate over the pros and cons of feeding kids with flavored milk. Is it really what causes obesity in children? Is it really just an open trap to lure kids into getting calcium and sugar at the same time? It gives me a headache, just by thinking about it because I am a milk lover. Good thing is, I love the regular kind of milk.
Kids of this generation are sometimes missing out on consuming the essential nutrients that their body needs. Food temptation is only good at first glance, but if you dig deeper and break down its nutritional values, you’ll find a piece of it or sometimes, nothing. Aside from that, kids are too picky when it comes to food, well it depends on how parents manage their eating habits while raising them. This is where flavored milk gained lots of fans, from kids to teens, and parents. But flavored milk’s promise to give kids the essential nutrients as that of plain milk is being criticized by many.
Flavored Milk: Nutrition versus Malnutrition.
- Flavored milk contains fewer sugar levels than that of a soda or even orange juice, and accounts for only 3% of the total sugar consumption of a kid in a day. If flavored milk is banned in schools, then so should fruit sodas and orange juice and cookies, and other junks.
- Flavored milk normally contains 10 to 12 grams of added sugar per cup, plus the 12g of natural sugar from the original cow’s milk.
- Manufacturers of flavored milk have been reducing the calories in their products, which have resulted in getting 23 calories off for every 8 ounces. This means there is only 39 more calories in flavored milk as compared to the plain white milk. Still that’s a lot!
- More 90% of school kids do not drink milk if it is not flavored.
- Chocolate milk is the most popular flavored milk for kids and teens. It must be because of our love for chocolate. It is a major reason why kids buy flavored milk in schools.
- Flavored milk is NOT the only way to supplement calcium and other nutrients to your kids, but it is also NOT the “major”contributor of obesity in children. It is just a part of the problem, which you can make adjustments and changes to make a healthier option for your kids.
- Opt for low-fat, fat-free or skim flavored milk
- Make your own flavored drink at home by using cocoa (for chocolate) or other fresh fruits and mix it with milk
Now, it’s not safe to say that flavored milk is the only option to get your kids to drink milk. Flavored milk should not be an everyday habit, and introduction of white milk to kids before they reach school age is necessary. Kids only eat and drink what they think is good for their taste, if it not flavored, they don’t like it. The attitude of kids towards milk is something that parents and even school administrations should think about. Some experts say that, “if your kids do not like drinking milk, give them calcium supplements.”I would not want to give my child these supplements at such a young age, where his/her body is just starting to develop. You get nutrients from flavored milk in exchange for calories, but there are lots of ways of cutting it down to a healthier level. Flavored milk may not be the best option, but make it healthier with natural ingredients for a healthier body.