Monday Mornings…

In today’s monday morning post I’m going to address the topic of chocolate milk.  This sweet, sugary concoction is served on a daily basis at many schools around the country…ours included.  It was easily my son’s drink of choice before we made the transition to healthy eating.  It’s no wonder when you consider chocolate milk has a whopping 3 teaspoons of added sugar per 8 oz drink!  Who wouldn’t love it?

During my reading on this topic I was shocked to learn that chocolate milk has 3.1 grams of sugar per ounce… pretty close to soda which has 3.3 grams of sugar per ounce.  WOW!  When all is said and done a carton of chocolate milk has as much sugar as a Snicker’s candy bar.  This concerns me especially when you consider the alarming increase in type II diabetes diagnoses (1 in 3 children born after the year 2000 will be diagnosed with Type II diabetes by the time they are 50 years old) and the continued rise in obesity rates among children.   Ann Cooper, the author of the Renegade Lunch Lady blog,  estimates “that the extra calories from chocolate milk — as much as 40 or 60 calories on top of a typical 110 calorie 8-ounce serving of white milk — could add up to 5 pounds of weight gain over the 180-day school year.”

Many argue that by sweetening milk kids are more likely to drink it and gain essentials nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D.  Ann Cooper says,   “The argument is like this: If our kids don’t like apples–but do like apple pie–then let’s just feed them apple pie in school,” Cooper said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”  The fact of the matter is that there are an abundance of foods out there that provide kids with calcium and Vitamin D; cheese, unsweetened yogurt, leafy greens, green beans, celery, beans, oranges, almonds, eggs, etc…

Knowing what I do now about chocolate milk I wanted to find a healthier alternative for my boys.  It’s taken some trial and error but I’ve finally come up with something they love just as much if not more than regular chocolate milk.  The good news is that it’s naturally sugar free (no artificial sweeteners), full of protein, contains 30% of our recommended daily value of calcium and 25% of Vitamin D and 50% of Vitamin E.

Chocolate milk:

  • 8 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you could use regular milk or another milk alternative if allergies are a concern)
  • 3/4 c. ice
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Jay Robb because it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners)
Pour ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.  I have a Blendtec blender which we use almost every day!


When I want to send homemade chocolate milk to school with my son I use this thermos which is the only one I’ve found that keeps it cold through lunch.

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8 Responses to Monday Mornings…

  1. annie says:

    This is wonderful!! I’ve been wanting to be able to treat my kiddo every once in a while, but have been feeling very guilty for what’s in that bottle. But using a chocolate protein powder (which, as a 12-year old boy, is totally something he could use!!) is a fabulous idea! Thank you!!

  2. JuliP says:

    Chocolate milk was part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. My husband and I watched the episode and both of us watched with our jaws on the floor. Horrible stuff!
    St. Paul Public Schools has done a great job of making the school lunch choices healthier and appealing to kids, I just wish they would eliminate chocolate milk from the choices in the cafeteria!
    I have been working on an alternative to chocolate milk, but can’t do almond milk, due to a tree nut allergy.

  3. Susan Mueller says:

    This is so great Jamie! My 11 year old son LOVES chocolate milk, and is a sugar fiend like his mother, unfortunately…. We argue daily about him NOT choosing chocolate milk at school, of which, he would sometimes buy TWO cartons!!! Blech! Our sons do bring a lunch from home so we can control some healthy choices there but this is a wonderful option! Our son will feel like he is more in control of his choices (middle schoolers seem to require that) and he will also feel like he “won” the argument! Many thanks and keep up the great work!

  4. cheryl says:

    I know that the protein powder is healthier but how many calories does it add? Just curious, Is the amount of sugar the same in the organic chocolate milks as well or just what is served in school? I am going to make some of this for the kids and see what they think. Thanks. Great for them to have before school and to get a nice dose of protein.

  5. Kim says:

    Color me shamed. I have, for a looooong time figured that since I give them organic chocolate or strawberry milk boxes, that everything was okey-dokey. I freely admit that sugar never even entered my mind, I was just figuring “organic=excellent”. Wow.

    I sell Arbonne products and we do have a chocolate, vegan protein powder that’s pretty yummy. I am going to check the sugar and then ease this into the routine.

    Thank you so much for this post (though my kids might not immediately appreciate it!)!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this post! My son just started kindergarten. His school does not have a cafeteria, but milk is delivered to the classrooms for parents who want to buy it. Trouble is, you have to pay by the semester, and choose chocolate or white milk for the WHOLE semester. My son loves chocolate milk, and I know he’d drink it daily if I chose that, but I don’t like all the sugar. He does not love white milk, and I’m pretty sure if I ordered that for him he would just throw it away. So, I opted to not order milk at all, and serve it to him at home where I can be sure he drinks it. For school, I send water some days, and on others a Fruitables juice box or a box of organic chocolate milk. I bought a 12-pack of the chocolate milk boxes and told him that when they’re gone for the semester, they’re gone…no more til January. He seems to like this compromise!

  7. Andrea says:

    I like how you point out there are other options to milk to get the calcium. A lot of people who are against chocolate milk say if you don’t offer chocolate milk, kids will then drink regular milk and that’s just not true for my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I am against chocolate milk because of all that added sugar. But once I took away the chocolate in their milk (and it was barely chocolate because I didn’t add very much, unlike their grandparents) they stopped drinking milk. So I make sure they get their calcium through other foods. Anyway, I totally agree that chocolate milk should not be offered in schools.

  8. Sara says:

    Thanks for this info. I really appreciate it. I have a finicky eater and choc milk is one of her staples. This inspires me to take that out like so many of the other healthy changes I have made. Thanks for the recipe alternative!

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