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.
- 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)
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.