An article in Monday’s Denver Post got me thinking about the hoops we jump through to get kids to eat healthy. Entitled “Cartons of Controversy,” the article weighs the pros and cons of serving so-called flavored milks, as opposed to just plain white milk.
On one side, folks believe that chocolate milk is too high in sugar to be healthy. On the other side, people say that kids won’t drink plain milk, so the high sugar content is worth it since at least the kids are getting calcium, potassium and vitamin D.
I’m sympathetic to the struggle. My youngest child went through a phase where she was underweight and refused to drink “plain” milk, so a nutritionist advised that we switch to chocolate. (She also recommended serving all vegetables with a dipping sauce like ranch dressing and that oh-so-nutritious-vegetable called french fries, advice we chose not to follow.) But we did switch to chocolate milk, and despite the pleas of her older siblings, we served it only to her. As soon as her weight improved and she was no longer off the growth chart, we weaned her off the chocolate milk. Now, I’m relieved to say, chocolate milk is mostly a thing of the past, though we still drink plenty of hot cocoa on cold, snowy days like today.
Parents, teachers, other adults out there, what do you think? What hoops do you jump through to get your kids to eat healthy?