Three reasons why chocolate milk is a healthy choice

Handout: American Dairy Association Mideast

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Often parents feel like they must choose between nutrition and taste when it comes to beverage options for their children, but with milk, they don’t have to! Milk, whether white or flavored, provides nine essential nutrients to help kids build strong bones and bodies.

Milk, whether white or flavored, provides nine essential nutrients to help kids build strong bones and bodies.

According to experts, by the time children reach the age of 6, many start to fall below recommended daily dairy servings. This means kids are not getting enough essential nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D, needed for healthy growth and development.

There’s good news! Milk is the top food source of three of the four nutrients of concern identified by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and flavor makes no difference! White, chocolate and strawberry milk all deliver a powerful package of nutrients and great taste!

WATCH: Choose Milk – Chocolate and Strawberry, too!

Have questions if flavored milk is the right option for the family? Check out these three reasons to choose flavored milk.

1. Kids drink more milk when strawberry and chocolate are options.

Research shows that when children are offered flavored milk, like chocolate, they drink more milk overall, and are more likely to get the nutrients they need.

“I really encourage parents to be creative because kids get tired of the same thing,” said pediatrician Elizabeth Zmuda, DO, FAAP, FACOP. Zmuda explains that allowing children to choose their flavor of milk “makes children feel empowered about their own choices and diet.”

2. Flavored milk is a nutrient powerhouse.

Adding flavor doesn’t take away the nine essential nutrients found in milk to help kids build strong bodies.

Parents may worry about the added sugar, but in reality, flavored milk accounts for only about 4 percent of added sugar in children’s diets.

This amount of added sugar is an acceptable trade-off for the nutritional value milk provides. “If you add a small amount of sugar and it results in children taking in that drink, then that is something that is recommended,” said Zmuda.

3. Schools recognize the importance of milk.

Eliminating chocolate milk in schools may result in a decrease of overall milk consumption.

On average, one serving of milk provides 8 grams of high-quality protein. Getting these essential nutrients can help energize kids,” said Karen Bakies, registered dietitian and nutrition affairs director for the American Dairy Association Mideast.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association agrees that chocolate milk can help students feel their best, which is why it’s the Official Beverage of Ohio High School Sports.

“Chocolate milk is great for student-athletes, with the right mix of fluids, protein and carbs to help rehydrate and refuel muscles and energy,” said Bakies.



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