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Milk & Your Child:

Parents Can Feel Good About Flavored Milk

Flavored milk can make a difference in how much milk your children drink. It's fun and it tastes good. It's also very nutritious. Like all milk, flavored milk is a rich source of calcium, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium and niacin. Milk's nutrients, especially calcium, are necessary for developing strong bones and teeth. Each 8-ounce serving of white or flavored milk provides 300 mg of calcium, about one-third to one-fourth of children's daily calcium requirement. What's more...

  • Children drink more milk when it's flavored.
  • While there are some added sugars, research shows that flavored milk drinkers don't have higher intakes of added sugars or total fats than children who do not drink flavored milk.
  • Flavored milk drinkers have higher calcium intakes.
  • The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) note that adding small amounts of sugar to foods, like reduced-fat milk, may make them more appealing and improve nutrient intake without adding lots of calories.

Added Sugars and Flavored Milk

Children drink more sodas and fruit drinks and less milk as they get older. These sweet drinks represent the single leading source of added sugars in children's and teen's diets, contributing 24 percent of added sugars. In comparison, flavored milk contributes only 2 percent of added sugars. Like white milk, flavored milk also provides three of the five nutrients identified in DGAs as problem nutrients for children – calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Check out the chart to learn more and get the Straight Talk on Flavored Milk's Added Sugars

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're like other parents, you have lots of questions about flavored milk. Find answers to questions about nutrition, hyperactivity, tooth decay and more.

Backed by Research

A myriad of studies support the benefits of children drinking flavored milk and confirm its role in a healthy diet. Here is a quick glimpse:

  • A 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics report encourages children and teens to consume 3-A-Day™ of Dairy, including flavored milk, to help build strong bones and reduce their risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life.
  • A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 6-to-17-year-olds who consume more than 6 to 8 ounces of flavored dairy products, such as milks, yogurts and puddings, every day have better diets than those who regularly drink sodas and sweetened fruit drinks.
  • A University of Vermont study found that children who drink flavored milk are more likely to meet their daily calcium requirements compared to their peers; consume more calcium, without increasing their total added sugar or fat intake; and consume more milk overall.
  • Studies show that when children drink milk at lunch, they have higher intakes of several critical nutrients, including calcium, zinc and Vitamin A. In one study, only children who drank milk at lunch met their daily calcium requirements.

Help Your Kids Choose Milk at School

Along with fruits, vegetables and whole-grains, the DGAs call out the Milk Group as a "Food Group to Encourage."

The New Look of School Milk encourages kids to drink more milk by serving it ice cold, in a variety of flavors, and in kid-friendly, plastic bottles.

Surveys also show that kids like school milk in plastic bottles because they think it tastes better, and moms like it because they think their children are more likely to drink milk.

Learn more and tell your school nutrition director and principal about the New Look of School Milk.

  • Attend school board and PTA/PTO meetings to discuss the importance of offering healthier food and beverage options as part of your school's wellness policy and share this handout (PDF) about dairy's role with other parents.
  • Ask your school nutrition director about vending offerings. A number of schools today offer flavored milk and bottled water in vending.

Mom's Survey
Find out what moms say about milk in plastic bottles.


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