Chocolate milk has many things going for it, from a wealth of nutritional to a premium recovery drink for athletes. Now, several U.S. Congress members introduced a measure called the Milk is Indisputably Liked by Kids Act of 2023 — or MILK Act for short. This legislation would amend the require schools to offer flavored milk under the school lunch program.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering banning chocolate milk from elementary and middle schools. This comes after the USDA issued a proposed rule in February that would set new nutrition standards for school meals, including limiting added sugars and sodium. If implemented, the new standards proposed could limit the amount of flavored milk, such as chocolate and strawberry, in high schools while children in elementary and middle schools would be restricted to a variety of unflavored milk.
“Out of all the crises the Biden administration should be focused on, how did chocolate milk in school lunches become public enemy number one? Chocolate milk is full of rich nutrients that support bone growth and development, and millions of children enjoy drinking it. From the looks of things, maybe instead of trying to cancel chocolate milk, President Biden ought to drink a carton or two,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI), one of the sponsors of the bill.
This legislation would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to include that students shall be offered “flavored milk.”
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, removing flavored milk from schools resulted in a 62 percent to 63 percent reduction in milk consumption by kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, as well as a 50 percent reduction in sixth through eighth grades. Milk is recognized as a complete protein, meaning it provides all the amino acids your body needs and can’t make on its own.
The Biden administration’s proposed new nutrition standards will affect roughly 30 million students who participate in the USDA’s school meal programs.
“Flavored milk options are critical components of healthy school meals because they deliver 13 essential nutrients that children need for growth, development, healthy immune function, mental health, and overall wellness, and they deliver all of these benefits in a package that children love to consume,” said Dr. Michael Dykes, President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. “Parents, school meal professionals, nutritionists, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans all support including low-fat flavored milk in public schools.”
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Author: Ryan Tipps