“Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk,” is a new awareness and education campaign by America’s dairy farmers, and milk processors to inform parents about the nutritional benefits of chocolate milk and call on them to show their support for keeping it in school cafeterias.

There’s been a lot of debate over the state of school lunch lately, and while there have been many steps forward, there’s also been increased discussion about removing chocolate milk from schools, a move that many health experts agree could do more harm than good. Groups calling for chocolate milk to be taken out of the cafeteria due to concerns over added sugars are not looking at the big picture.

Use the following key messages in your conversations supporting chocolate milk in school meals, remember to customize these with your own examples and experiences:

  • Milk provides nutrients essential for good health and kids will drink more of it when it’s flavored.
  • Flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk, and is a healthful alternative to soft drinks. 
  • Drinking low-fat or fat-free white or flavored milk helps kids get the 3 daily servings of milk recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and provides three of the five “nutrients of concern” that children do not get enough of – calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamin D.
  • Children who drink flavored milk meet more of their nutrient needs; do not consume more added sugar, fat or calories; and are not heavier than non-milk drinkers.
  • Nearly 70 percent of the milk children choose to drink in school is flavored and research shows that they will drink less milk (and get fewer nutrients) when it’s taken away.
  • Leading health and nutrition organizations – including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association – recognize the valuable role that milk, including flavored milk, can play in meeting daily nutrient needs.  All recognize that the small amount of added sugar in flavored milk is an acceptable trade-off for the nutrients provided.

To show your support and find more information:

Source: Dairy Management, Inc.