Child Nutrition Directors today are faced with many challenges regarding the foods that they can and cannot serve. With the new mandated school wellness policies, menus have changed in order to meet the nutrition standards set in place by SB 12 and SB 965. We at Driftwood Dairy feel that dairy can be a part of the solution to wellness. By including dairy items on your menus, you are ensuring students are receiving excellent nutrition daily. Loaded with Calcium and eight other essential nutrients, milk is a complete nutrient package.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommends three daily servings of low fat or fat free milk, cheese or yogurt and calls for the Milk Group as a “Food Group to Encourage”. When children drink milk at lunch, they have higher intakes of several important nutrients, including calcium, zinc, potassium and vitamins A and D. And when kids drink flavored milk, not only are they getting the same nutrition as plain white milk, they are consuming fewer nutrient void calories from soft drinks and fruit drinks.
Flavored Milk Kids are in a calcium crisis-they need more milk more often and flavored milk can help close this gap. Currently, more than half of children ages 2-8 and three quarters of children ages 9-19 do not get the recommended daily servings of low fat or fat free milk or milk products. Flavored milk delivers the nutrition that kids need. Flavored milk can be a delicious alternative to other beverages for kids and adults due to the fact that flavored milks are often more acceptable to people who do not drink white milk. Research has shown that adding sugar to a beverage can increase the appeal of nutrient rich beverages and provide additional choices for children as part of a healthy diet. Also, flavored milk does not have as much sugar as a fruit drink or even a carbonated soft drink. While flavored milk contains both natural sugar and added sugar it only contains about 4 teaspoons of added sugar. An 8 oz portion of fruit punch contains about 6 teaspoons of sugar and an 8 oz carbonated beverage contains roughly 7 teaspoons. In looking at this sugar comparison, flavored milk truly is a smart choice for kids and adults. Plus, when you drink flavored milk, you are getting the 9 essential vitamins and minerals in every serving. Carbonated beverages and fruit drinks do not have the nutrients that milk has.
Researchers analyzed food consumption data from the Nutrition Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that flavored milk contributed only 2 percent of total added sugar in children’s diets, compared to 50 percent or more added by soft drinks. For more information on this study, please see the download below.
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