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Chocolate Milk

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Updated July 10, 2011

Case For Chocolate Milk

Perhaps one benefit to chocolate flavoring is that it might encourage your child to drink milk when he might otherwise not drink plain white milk. But even then, you are probably better off trying to give your child alternative sources of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, and calcium fortified orange juice, etc.

Another benefit is that many chocolate flavorings are now fortified with some extra calcium and other vitamins and minerals, so if your child doesn't drink much milk or other things with calcium, then it might be a good way to make sure he gets enough of this important mineral. And in the case of Carnation Instant Breakfast Powder Mix, in addition to the chocolate flavoring, you can give your child extra iron, calcium, protein, and many other vitamins and minerals. Ovaltine has extra iron in it too.

If your concern is added sugar and calories, a number of reduced sugar versions of chocolate and strawberry flavorings for milk are now available.

Case Against Chocolate Milk

The biggest case against chocolate milk is that adding any flavoring to milk adds extra sugar and calories to an otherwise healthy drink. Even the newer 'no sugar added' varieties, like the Nesquik Chocolate No Sugar Added brand, has 3g of extra milk sugar and an extra 40 calories. And the more traditional varieties can add up to 24 of sugar and 100 calories per serving, which more than doubles the amount of calories that you would get from just a glass of low-fat milk.

And keep in mind that the no sugar added varieties use artificial sweeteners.

Resolution

Although milk is an important drink and an easy way for your child to get calcium and vitamin D into his diet, it is usually best to encourage your kids to drink plain white milk. Adding chocolate flavoring just gives your child unnecessary sugar and calories. If your child won't drink plain white milk, you might offer alternative sources of calcium before jumping to flavoring his milk with chocolate or strawberry syrup or powder, as it is usually difficult to get kids to later go back to drinking plain milk once they start drinking flavored milk.

If you are going to give your kids chocolate flavored milk, you might offer it only as a once in a while treat and not on a daily basis.

What about all of the extra vitamins and minerals that most chocolate flavorings now offer? You can get even more vitamins and minerals with a simple daily multivitamin that your child takes with her glass of plain white milk.

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