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{June 6, 2012}   The debate over…

The debate over whether chocolate milk should be included in your kids’ diet, as part of everyday intake, moreover soon, as the classes will open again.  The questions parents always impose on me whenever I give them my classroom rules:  TOP 1 on the list is my concern for the food / snacks being packed for their kids…. which is NO CHOCOLATES, IN ANY FORM OF. Meaning? all solids (cookies, bread, cake, fudge, rolls, wafers et al.) and all liquid forms–> none other than the  no. 1 cause of hyperactivity, shorter attention span, unnecessary movements and too much unrelated,  incomprehensible  words, PLUS the inability to settle down and take the nap as they  should take after lunch time at home…. and the list, of  its bad effects  “that I researched” and not plain “disallowing only” continues on and on,  firmer and firmer. Parents, in response, mostly question why? Why what?  Actually,  in the recent studies, chocolate and strawberry-flavored milk as well just give the same harmful effects because  flavored milk has as much sugar as a candy bar.

Unless, availability of the new, reformulated chocolate milk (wherein the sugar is from sugar cane or beets instead of the more processed high-fructose corn syrup) will be introduced here in Saudi Arabia like in US,  which is low-fat and contains less sugar than previous versions , well I can make exemptions, but with the same junk content???? come on……

Chocolate milk is higher in sugar and calories than non-flavored milk, but some kids simply refuse to drink plain milk. (According to dairy industry data, milk consumption  dropped by an average of 35 percent when flavored milk was removed or limited.) See? So are kids better off consuming the extra sugar and calories in chocolate milk than not consuming any milk ( which is a vital source of calcium, vitamin D, and other vital nutrients — at all? seriously? )We, parents do the grocery of course, and tend to ignore thus, loving the “yummy mommy!” comment from her child, soothing her  as a way of compensating the lost times brought about by work? Sorry, but that is the hard truth, we parents refused to dig in, and parents primarily  the rules breakers, conniving with the sitter  to excuse  what is NOT allowed, even teaching their kids “to drink it or eat it when teacher is not around”….. shame!  for as  simple as  chocolate , you cannot let your kids understand?, how will he understand the tons and tons of rules in life as he grows up? and guess what? your child simply  lost the opportunity to absorb the learning brought about by your guilt.Am I making sense? Here’s more…. 

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, and 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 as part of an already too-sugary diet. T he added sugar provides unnecessary extra calories when so many kids are already struggling with their weight and unhealthy eating.And added sugar is consumed also by  the 20 percent of teens  who are very much enjoying the ” ahhhhh!” effect of soft drinks (even tagged diet drinks- it has a different harm from the artificial  sweetener being used ) making them intake  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. See the chain reaction from the cutie little preschooler bound to feel sorry soon due to inclinations to sweet stuff that were not controlled and left undisciplined from the formative years. 
Parents have a big “say” in this issue wherein they are the best to  encourage their  own  kids to appreciate plain milk.  It is advisable to drink plain 1 percent or fat-free milk with their lunch in school. (Kids shouldn’t drink whole milk after age 2, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.) If your child will only drink flavored milk,  it’s better to have them drink water with their school lunch.

One thing even experts can agree on: Kids need to get enough calcium (800 milligrams a day for ages 4 to 8; 1,300 milligrams a day for ages 9 to 18; 800) 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.

Summing it up: Pre-mixed chocolate milk contains added sugar and calories that kids don’t need, and it shouldn’t be served ever.  For fourteen years in close contact with families, parents, and kids of different cases, with different struggles,  I am not just disliking it, but I am most of all being “factual” about it.  Many cases of preschoolers have been brought to my attention, and having traced the triggering factor or what commonly seems to matter —>  short attention span —–>  hyperactivity ===>  brought about by  too much consumption of – sugar –. Ponder…. it will do wonder….

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