Decatur School Board To Study Chocolate Milk Proposal

Eliminating chocolate milk from Decatur school cafeterias was the most controversial proposal from the school system Ultimate Menu Committee. The school board will talk about these ideas in coming months.

Chocolate milk is safe for now in the City Schools of Decatur.

On Tuesday night, the Decatur School Board immediately and to phase it out for higher grades.

The board wasn't ready to do that. It received the report from the Ultimate Menu Committee and plans to study the idea in coming months.

The report had many other proposals to improve school nutrition, such as eliminating or changing peanut butter, chips, chicken nuggets and pancakes, but chocolate milk was the biggie.

It's not known if any school systems in Georgia have eliminated chocolate milk. About a year ago, Massachusetts banned chocolate milk in public school lunchrooms. A Patch story said Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have done the same.

The main complaint about chocolate milk is that it contains too much sugar, but defenders say it's the only milk some kids will drink.

Though she didn't take a position on chocolate milk, board member Valarie Wilson said her son was one of those kids. "I've never been able to get him to drink any other kind of milk," she said.

The board and administrators noted the breakfasts and lunches served at school are the main meals for some students. Board member Julie Rhame said, "My biggest concern may be that that's the only calcium some kids get."

The Ultimate Menu Committee was made up of school dieticians, parents and one students.

The committee noted the Decatur school system has already taken many steps to improve nutrition, such as using local food whenever possible. Many other school systems look upon the Decatur Farm to School program as a model.

Committee member Clare Schexnyder said the committee recommends the school system reduce if it does not eliminate the use targeted food items. For instance, schools could serve chocolate milk only on Fridays to make it seem like a treat.

Speaking of other kinds of foods, "If it's once a month or twice a month, that's better than seeing it all the time."

To see the full report, go to the agenda for the school board meeting, click on Ultimate Menu Committee and then click on the report PDF at the bottom.

Ralph Ellis September 05, 2012 at 12:10 PM
What would you tell the school board?
Kate Colussy-Estes September 05, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I feel like when I was growing up Chocolate milk was only available on Fridays. That seems like a decent compromise. As for the fat and sugar content, at the K-3 level a little lowfat milk is a good thing (with a balanced diet) the sugar content is certainly a concern, especially if the milk is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
Jennifer September 05, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Just wanted to correct your comment that "The main complaint about chocolate milk is that it contains too much fat and sugar". USDA regulations state that fluid milk must be low-fat (1 percent fat or less for unflavored milk) or fat-free (unflavored or flavored). Concern about chocolate milk served in schools is its high sugar content (since it will always be fat-free).
Ralph Ellis September 05, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Thanks, Jennifer.
m September 05, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Saying that "My biggest concern may be that that's the only calcium some kids get." and "I've never been able to get him to drink any other kind of milk" is like saying that you can't get your kid to take their vitamin unless hide it in some drugs. The point isn't just to get them to swallow some vitamins it is to teach them how to eat healthy and take care of themselves. Chocolate milk is simply not good for you.


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