Is Chocolate Milk Good for Kids?

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

The politically correct food police are out once again taking shots at providing chocolate milk in school cafeterias. So the question is; how dangerous is chocolate milk for our kids?

School officials and nutrition experts across the country are debating over whether to continue providing chocolate milk to kids in school. Of course, I would have thought the decision regarding children drinking chocolate milk was best made by parents. So here we are again debating, to drink or not to drink? That’s the hot-button question of experts across the country.

The debate over whether chocolate milk should be served in school cafeterias started all over again when the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it would ban chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk from its schools starting the summer of 2011. Superintendent John Deasy pushed for the ban after being blind-sided by celebrity food activist Jamie Oliver, who said that flavored milk has as much sugar as a candy bar.

Fairfax County, Virginia schools reintroduced chocolate milk this year after they and the DC schools banned it last year. The new, reformulated chocolate milk is low-fat (as it was before) and now contains less sugar than previous versions (and the sugar is from sugar cane or beets instead of the more processed high-fructose corn syrup).

The chocolate milk controversy is bigger than just school board policy. Chocolate milk is higher in sugar and calories than non-flavored milk, but some kids simply refuse to drink plain milk. Dairy industry data noted that milk consumption in 58 schools dropped by an average of 35 percent when flavored milk was removed or limited.

To many kids the taste of milk is just not desirable. So are kids better off consuming a little extra sugar and calories in chocolate milk than not consuming any milk? After all milk is a vital source of calcium, vitamin D, and other vital nutrients.

Chocolate-Flavored vs. Regular Milk

All milk is loaded with nutrients. One cup of fortified low-fat milk contains around 100 calories and 13 grams of sugar (in the form of lactose, a sugar found naturally in milk) and about 300 milligrams of calcium (about 25 percent of kids’ daily need) as well as vitamin D, vitamin A, B vitamins, and minerals including potassium and phosphorus. The same size serving of typical low-fat chocolate milk contains about 160 calories and 25 grams of sugar (the increased amount comes from added sugar), with comparable levels of vitamins and minerals.

If you’re having trouble getting your children to drink milk and you’re concerned about the extra sugar and calories I suggest you consider putting a little a chocolate peanut butter cup in your child’s glass.

Drinking ChocolateNothing goes better together than our award-winning dark Choclatique chocolate and lightly roasted Virginia Peanuts & Peanut Butter. That’s the inspiration for our delicious Peanut Butter Swirl Drinking Chocolate Mix. It is full bodied, creamy in texture with a rich, dark chocolate color. It‘s a chocolate beverage with an intense yet comforting peanut butter flavor with only 24 grams of sugar and loaded with over 13 grams of healthful protein. Use this mix as you would traditional hot chocolate. Top with light whipped cream and crushed peanuts for additional protein. For the ultimate in chilled chocolaty refreshment, combine Peanut Butter Swirl Drinking Chocolate Mix together with cold milk and ice, blend until frothy then sprinkle with cocoa powder and crushed peanuts! Yum!

Peanut Butter Swirl Drinking Chocolate Mix is made with crushed Choclatique chocolate, premium cocoa powder and low-fat peanut flour made from USA-grown peanuts. It is all natural—no preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. It is also Gluten-Free and is perfect for everyone all year ‘round.

Customers who like Choclatique’s Peanut Butter Swirl Drinking Chocolate Mix also like our Drinking Chocolate Mix Sampler. And it so easy to make… simply add 4 tablespoons of Hot Drinking Chocolate Mix to cold milk (whole, 2%, 1%, non-fat or soy); whisk and heat for a steamy cold-weather chocolate treat. Add a dollop of light whipped cream for a sinfully chocolaty indulgence.

For the ultimate in chilled chocolaty refreshment, combine Cinnamon Drinking Chocolate Mix together with cold milk and ice… blend until frothy and sprinkle with cocoa powder and cinnamon. Enjoy!

Choclatique by Ed EngoronIf you’re looking for more chocolate beverage recipes and learning more about chocolate, its affects on the human body and improving your (and your children’s) disposition, buy my new book—Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts. The recipes make luscious tasting desserts perfectly the first time and every time there after. It is a foolproof guide to making all of your favorite chocolate desserts and beverages.

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