(CBS) – It’s a school lunch staple, but could it soon be a thing of the past?
The Department of Education is reportedly considering a ban on chocolate milk in city schools.
But that idea is not exactly sitting well with some parents.
A potential ban on chocolate milk is actually nothing new. Back in 2006, when city public schools banned whole milk, it briefly considered a ban on flavored milk, the high content of sugar being the main reason why.
“Chocolate milk has about 10 grams more sugar than regular milk and children should limit their sugar intake to about 25 grams,” nutritionist Reyna Franco said.
According to the Department of Health, 4 in every 10 elementary school children are overweight or obese. The department has been in favor of the ban for quite some time now, posting on its website that children who drink chocolate milk twice a day consume about 80 grams of sugar each week. That adds up to six pounds of sugar a year.
“Now if you look at the big picture, at how much your child is eating in terms of sugar, if they don’t eat too much cakes and cookies and foods with added sugar, then chocolate milk may be a good way to get some calcium, vitamin D and protein into their day,” Franco said.
Parents agree, telling CBS2 that chocolate milk is often their child’s only source of calcium, and if it were to be taken off the shelves, their child would opt for juice or soda over white milk.
“Children need milk in their system. They’re not going to be full. What are they going to give them? Juice? Water? Water is hydrating, but it’s not enough,” mother Crystal Rodriguez Pritchett said.
“The lunches have improved incredibly,” mother Lori Horsely said. “I don’t think chocolate milk is going to make or break the kids’ eating. I think they should leave it alone, let them have something.
“They prefer the chocolate milk, obviously, so if that’s the way you’re going to get the calcium into the kids, I say go for it,” Horsely added.
The Department of Education told CBS2 its priority is the health and well being of students and that no decision has been made about chocolate milk just yet.
School districts in San Francisco and Washington D.C. have already banned flavored milk.