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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Kids Love Flavored Milk


Milk does a body good. I grew up in Wisconsin and milk was a staple at every meal. I still love milk, but I confess I don't drink as much as I should. I get my calcium and protein from cheese and yogurt in addition to milk to get my three servings of dairy per day.

An interesting study came out in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association on the benefits of milk drinking for children. The researchers found that children who drink milk consume more nutrients (have a healthier diet overall) and have a lower or comparable Body Mass Index (BMI) than children who don't drink milk. It did not matter whether the kids were drinking plain or flavored milk.

Milk is naturally nutrient rich. It has protein, which provides satiety for kids and adults alike. It also provides calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin D, potassium, riboflavin, Vitamin B12, and more.

Kids tend to like flavored milk better, who wouldn't? If you add sugar to something it always tastes better! This study found that the kids who drank flavored milk did not have a higher intake of sugar for the day than kids who drank the plain milk. That leads me to believe that the flavored milk drinkers were using their flavored milk as their sweet snack/sugary food and the plain milk drinkers were getting sugar from other places.

I am all for kids drinking milk. If they need it to be flavored to drink it, then flavor it. Maybe you have a compromise in your house that it is not always flavored, though. We used to get chocolate milk occasionally growing up, but it was definitely a treat. The other option is to use these new milk straws. They have only 15 calories and make the milk taste just as sweet at the other flavored milks (but you save a lot of sugar calories). See my blog post on milk straws for more information on these lower calorie, lower sugar alternatives for flavored milk.

For more information, visit www.3aday.org
Also check out www.nationaldairycouncil.org
Sipahh straws: www.sipahh.com

Photo courtesy of National Dairy Council
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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