Should Schools Take Milk Off the Menu?

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 07.24.12
Should Schools Take Milk Off the Menu?
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We’ve all heard arguments against serving sugary beverages like certain juices and soda to kids. But there’s a new debate heating up over milk consumption and whether or not the white stuff is actually nutritious or just an overhyped health drink.

Time magazine recently reported about a recent petition drawn up by the doctor’s group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) asking the U.S. government to remove milk from the required food group list on the National School Lunch Program. The PCRM argues that since “Milk is high in sugar, high in fat and high in animal protein” any benefits to bone strength are outweighed by the unhealthful content of the beverage.

The PCRM’s stance on milk consumption may be surprising to many who have always lived by the “milk does a body good” motto, but recent research into the real health benefits of this dairy product show that it may not be as healthy as we think.

Studies following both children and postmenopausal women show that whether they drank milk regularly or not both groups had equal chances of suffering fractured bones. President of PCRM, Dr. Neal Barnard explains, “One of the only reasons people talk about dairy, or promote it at all, is because it is going to help build strong bones. Research has now made it abundantly clear that milk doesn’t build strong bone. Whether we are talking about children who are forming bones or older people who are trying to keep their bone integrity, milk doesn’t have a beneficial effect on either one.”

Part of the solution for anti-milk drinkers is for kids to get calcium from other more healthful sources that contain less saturated fats, sugars, and animal protein. But those who argue that milk should stay on the menu at school feel that a lot of kids aren’t getting the nutrients from other foods to begin with and taking away milk would just serve to make matters worse.

What do you think of the current petition to ban milk from school lunches?

Do you feel that milk is an essential part of your family’s diet?

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  • scatteredmusings By scatteredmusings

    Some children only get milk at school, I think it should stay on menus.

  • NinaMo By NinaMo

    It is possible that it is better for kids to drink water instead of milk...but kids would prefer to drink high sugar fruit juice or soda over water any day! At least milk is a better option then those. Everything is ok as long as it is in moderation. I feel one small carton of milk is a good option for a kid who refuses to eat leafy greens.

  • mcleeton By mcleeton

    I think that milk should be kept on the menu at school but I also think that there should be other options such as juice, water, and/or flavored water. Another suggestion would be to offer the nutritional supplement drinks like Boost Kid Essentials if there is a doubt about lack of nutrition without the milk.

  • moonkitten By moonkitten

    The food police are at it again. Soon you'll be facing jail time if little Johnny gets caught with a Twinkie.

  • SchottlerC By SchottlerC

    The school systems need to offer healthy options including milk. Many students don't receive a meal this healthy anywhere else and thus it would be sad for them to lose it in the school. Just like every other item in a child's world, we need to stop thinking it is the school's job to administer to our children and take on that job ourselves. It doesn't Matt what the school serves, it matters how much of it and what the child ate. I ask my children what they ate and then plan other meals accordingly making an effort to ensure that they have met good nutritional requirements for that day.

  • brit2387 By brit2387

    This sounds crazy to me. Kids need milk, and I know milk is better than a lot of things kids drink, no matter how much fat or sugar it has. I do think kids should be offered water as an option too though. Or even soy milk or almond milk. Not everyone can drink milk or chooses to drink milk so I do agree that there should be more options, but milk should never be eliminated. That sounds ridiculous.

  • lupay85 By lupay85

    How about nonfat milk?

  • coldpond By coldpond

    I am a teacher, and at our schools milk is available as 2% chocolate, whole white, 2% white, and fat free white and is included in the price of a lunch. Water is available as a choice for .50 more. I don't think milk should be removed, but I feel that water should be included as a choice at no additional cost.

  • ajcoupons By ajcoupons

    I feel milk should still be offered, but maybe they can offer a healthier milk like Organic Valley, or Horizon. Definitely feel water should be offered.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    When i had school lunches I ALWAYS tell them I don't want milk but they always forced me to get milk. and they always goes to waste. I feel so bad for it getting dumped away like that when it could have gone to someone who really needed it. they should focus on HEALTHIER lunches instead of hamburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza and all that other junk.

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