This week, we've zeroed in on the cause of all the ills in America's children - it's chocolate milk served in school cafeterias!
Chocolate milk! ABC News reported yesterday that dentists are joining some nutritionists in decrying the horrors of chocolate milk. Even the U.K.'s talking about the controversy over a Washington, D.C.-area school lifting their ban on chocolate milk. To which we say, simmer down!
If you want to freak out, look beyond the milk at the food being served with that chocolate milk.
According to Prairie Farms website, a half pint of their 1 percent chocolate milk contains 170 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs (all from sugar), and the nutrients protein, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
Hm. Not great on the sugar count; chocolate milk has almost a teaspoon more sugar than the same amount of regular soda. The guideline is no more than 40 grams of sugar per day. There are a lot of nutrients, though.
But what else is on the tray? Gut Check has a menu from a local elementary school that contracts with Sodexo, one of the largest institutional food service companies in the country.
Go ahead and dig through their website. It's fun. There are lots of pictures of oranges and happy kids. But try to find nutritional information, and you'll find a labyrinth of web pages. There's a lot of good nutrition tips, but not much information about what Sodexo is actually serving the kiddos.
The school lunch menu lists their nutritional target based on the daily recommended allowance: Total fat - less than 30% Saturated fat - less than 10% Calories - 664
The menu lists the weekly average nutritional information. This week's meals: Total fat - 27.9% Saturated Fat - 9.85% Calories - 711
And what foods are carrying those calories? Tomorrow Sodexo will give kids at this school several entree options: sloppy joe on bun, cheese pizza, Buffalo chicken sandwich, vegetarian salad, or sub sandwich. They can choose between tater tots or chilled peaches, and every meal comes with Jello and milk - chocolate or plain.
Somehow, the chocolate milk seems like the least of our worries.