Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate milk in schools

The dairy industry is about to start an ad campaign for chocolate milk, with the intent of getting it on school lunch menus. Some nutrition huggers are being killjoys about it.

Obviously the actual reason for the lobbying campaign is increased sales of product, but the stated reason is that, hey, it has a bunch of sugar in it, but so does everything else kids are willing to drink, and at least it has some real nutrition, so it's better than soda or juice.

That may be true, but it may also be irrelevant. If I had to rank beverages for school kids, I think it would be:
  • milk (full of good stuff)
  • water (neutral)
  • chocolate milk (some good stuff, some bad stuff)
  • juice (less good stuff, more bad stuff)
  • soda (complete crap; everything in it but the water is bad for you [I don't actually know if that's true, but it's a good line])
So if I were king of the schools, the offerings would be milk and water (and probably tea and coffee, because kids do need their caffeine after lunch; caffeine is the only good reason for selling sodas at school). But if you're going to offer juice and soda, it may be a good idea to offer chocolate milk, too.

The question is who would buy it, milk drinkers who want a different flavor or juice and soda drinkers who are trading up. I don't know, but my guess is the former, so, pending that information, I think I come down on the side of the nutrition-huggers this time.

1 comment:

  1. My child has the option of choosing chocolate milk vs. white milk as part of the school lunch program, part of the reason she only gets to eat school lunch once a week.

    As a parent, I would prefer it not be an option.