Chocolate milk used to be in schools across the nation, but soon there may not be a drop to drink.
A recent article in the Washington Post tells us that schools in both Washington D.C. and Fairfax County, Virginia have banned chocolate milk. Due to heightened fears over health concerns, some school administrators have called for an end to the beverage. However, as a result of public outcry, the Faixfax ban has already been rescinded. But is discontinuing chocolate milk in schools an appropriate action?
I can recall drinking the beverage almost every day when I was in school, assuming the students from an earlier lunch period didn’t exhaust the supplies. Chocolate milk is popular. But why did I consume it? You see, I don’t really care for the taste of milk. However, if milk were mixed with something tasting better, like chocolate (or whatever chocolate-like substance goes into chocolate milk), I would consume it. We all know that milk provides many useful nutrients for growing children. The chocolate flavoring merely serves to make it more palatable. After all, how many other children, like I did, would choose some other drink if chocolate milk was not available? And if they rejected it, where would they get their source of calcium and vitamin D?
On the other hand, one should be conscious of excessive sugar consumption, especially high fructose corn syrup, considering the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes are continuing to rise. Although I believe eliminating HFCS would improve the situation, if you would like to see more positive benefits to chocolate milk consumption, I have a suggestion.
Even though I run the risk of sounding like a commercial for Nestlé, what about using Ovaltine? If some prepackaged product could be created using milk and Ovaltine, I think such a plan would be great for parents and children alike. After all, Ovaltine provides a whole host of vitamins and minerals beyond traditional milk. Best of all, combining Ovaltine with milk transforms the beverage into something tasty. Whenever I pour a glass of milk, I always add a generous amount of Ovaltine. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner; anytime is a great time for Ovaltine.
I strongly believe that schools shouldn’t discontinue offering chocolate milk at lunchtime. After all, if I don’t drink regular milk, why should I expect current students to do so? Rather than the heavy hand of government regulation, couldn’t the business world come up with a suitable solution? Enough with the nanny state and the food police. Personally, I’d like to see Ovaltine come up with a premixed sort of chocolate milk. That way students can continue to enjoy the beverage and parents can appreciate the added nutritional benefits.