Chocolate milk has always been the glue that's held school lunch together. When you were faced with mystery meat for the second day in a row, you could always count on that carton of chilled chocolate milk to pull you through. But now, it appears that chocolate milk's days in schools across the country could soon be numbered.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its proposed nutrition standards provisions, and one of the updates addresses flavored milks served to children at school lunch.
The proposal from the USDA is broken down into two options. The first would limit flavored milk to children in grades 9-12. The second would allow flavored milk for children in all grades (K-12). Both options include an added sugars limit for flavored milk.
"Fat-free and low-fat milk contain essential nutrients that kids need to grow and thrive, while staying within the calorie and saturated fat limits recommended by the Dietary Guidelines. The proposed rule continues to encourage consumption of fat-free or low-fat milk, while allowing some flavored milk to be offered in school meals," read a statement on the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service website.
The proposed changes have unsurprisingly caused a number of reactions and conversations on social media.
One user on Twitter, who explained that they were once on an elementary school nutrition committee, recalled a time when they personally requested that chocolate milk be removed from school lunch. Similarly, one teacher simply declared that "it has to go."
On an elementary school nutrition committee decades ago we begged the cafeteria manager to get rid of chocolate milk. The teachers said kids bounced off the walls after drinking it. He said the US agency that gave school lunch assistance required it because of dairy lobby. Yikes! https://t.co/0FctSpxu53
— Mandy Evans (@mandyevans) May 17, 2023
It has to go..as a school teacher myself..the kids love the chocolate milk so….nuff said..
— scottie_sandwedge (@scottiesandage) May 17, 2023
A former teacher offered a pretty straightforward take on why chocolate milk tends to be wildly popular compared to regular milk.
When I was a public school teacher I used to drink the chocolate milk because the plain milk was all 2% rather than whole milk and did not taste very good. https://t.co/EgVTW1SfdC
— J. Otto Pohl (@JOttoPohl1) May 16, 2023
Kids aren’t getting obese from chocolate milk in schools. Having PE once every four days & cutting out recess are far more dangerous to their health.
— Clint Rider (@CoachClintRider) May 17, 2023
The USDA was open to feedback on the proposed changes, but unfortunately the window to submit comments to the organization closed on May 10.
What do you think—should schools serve children chocolate milk or ban it?
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