Flavored milk is higher in sugar and calorie than non-flavored milk but some kids refuse to drink plain milk. So are kids better off consuming the extra sugar and calories in chocolate and other flavored milk than not consuming any milk (a vital source of calcium, vitamin D and other vital nutrients) at all?
All milk (flavored or not) is packed with nutrients. One cup of fortified low-fat milk contains around 100 calories and 13 grams of sugar (in the form of lactose, a sugar found naturally in milk) and about 300 milligrams of calcium (about 25 percent of kids’ daily need as well as vitamin D, vitamin a, b vitamins, minerals like potassium and phosphorus. The same size serving of typical low-fat chocolate milk contains about 160 calories and 25 grams of sugar (the increased amount comes from added sugar), with comparable levels of vitamins and minerals.
It may not seem like a huge difference, but over time that extra sugar and calories add up, especially when they’re consumed daily and as part of an already too-sugary diet. A study found that added sugar accounts for 20 percent of teens’ daily calories; those with the highest sugar intake had lower levels of good HDL cholesterol and higher levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life. Much of the teen’s sugar intake came from sweetened beverages.
If your child will only drink flavored milk, it’s better to have them drink water with their school lunch and serve them flavored milk with breakfast or dinner at home (stick with one serving a day for flavored milk), where you can make your own healthier version. At home parents can control the kind to milk poured and the amount of syrup or sweetened cocoa stirred in.
One thing most experts can agree on: kids need to get enough calcium (800 milligrams a day for ages 4 to 8; 13, 00 milligrams a day for ages 9 to 18) and milk is often an important calcium contributor in most kids’ diets. To reach those amounts, children need multiple servings of calcium-rich foods a day, including milk as well as low-fat yogurt, cheese and leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli.(If you’re concerned about your child’s calcium intake, ask your pediatrician about taking supplements.)
Important Note: The articles presented are provided by third party authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of KhanaPakana.com. They should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. Consult with your physician prior to following any suggestions provided.
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