Chocolate Milk a Sweet Choice for Kids, Parents

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 6, 1997 | Go to article overview

Chocolate Milk a Sweet Choice for Kids, Parents


Byline: Wallace & Smith

Last week, we asked readers to ponder the hard-hitting question: Should chocolate milk be served in elementary schools?

Some readers thought the issue was silly and not worth the recycled paper on which it was printed. Yet, it did yield more responses than any other issue on which we've asked for feedback in this column.

The verdict?

The vast majority of parents who responded felt chocolate milk should be offered as a choice to students, saying it was better for children to drink chocolate milk than soda, juice drinks or no milk at all.

"Until it's established that drinking chocolate milk leads to hard drugs, teen pregnancy and a life of crime," one woman said, "I think we should let the kids make their own choice."

Only one parent who responded thought chocolate milk should be out. "My child drinks white milk and there's no problem with it," she said. "But as soon as the other kids around him start drinking chocolate milk, he's not going to want to drink white milk, anymore."

Several respondents said they've been in their children's lunchrooms and have seen many children throwing away nearly-full cartons of white milk.

"Another thing is, chocolate milk doesn't taste as bad when it's a little warm," said Linda Vitols of Elk Grove Village. "My child has told me the milk is sometimes warm by the time the kids get it."

Said Renee Lee of Arlington Heights: "If they're going to eliminate anything, they should eliminate soda."

* * *

What kids have to say: At Mount Prospect's Fairview School - where only white milk is served - second-grade teacher Michelle Logar read last week's column about chocolate milk to her class and each student wrote a letter in response.

Students, also overwhelmingly felt chocolate milk should be offered.

The kids did research and found that only about half of the students in their school buy white milk every day. They felt more children would drink milk if they had the chocolate option.

Out of 22 children, 14 said chocolate milk should be offered, five said it shouldn't be and three others were fence-sitters or said it should be offered only on certain days.

One student, Lana Maglieri, was particularly torn. Serving chocolate milk is "kind of good because after a while you could get sick of the same kind of milk," she said. "And also it's kind of bad if your mom says, 'You can't have any more chocolate milk.' But it's still good because you could buy it without your mom seeing it."

Excerpts from some of the other letters:

- "Maybe if chocolate milk was served more kids would drink milk. That is a good thing because milk is good for you. …

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