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Is Chocolate Milk Better Than Plain Milk?

Is Chocolate Milk Better Than Plain Milk?

Parents recognize the importance of milk for their children’s growth and development. Not only is it rich in calcium, but it’s also usually fortified with other vitamins and minerals. However, many kids (and adults) find milk a little bland. To encourage children to drink milk daily, some parents combine it with chocolate or purchase chocolate milk powder or drinks. But is choco milk healthy? Find out here.

The Issues With Choco Milk

A popular brand of powdered milk drink in the Philippines contains about 153 calories, with 18.5 grams of carbohydrates (10.9 grams of which are sugars). If you mix it with another powdered chocolate product, it follows that you’ll have more calories and sugars in the drink.

This is a concern because we want children to avoid added sugars. Also, parents must be careful in incorporating combined milk and chocolate into their kids’ diet because of the added calories and saturated fats.

But, what about powdered choco milk or ready-to-drink chocolate milk products? Are they better?

They might have less calories and sugars than when you combine powdered milk and chocolate on your own, but they often still have more calories and sugars than plain milk.

Are There Benefits To Drinking Choco Milk?

The first benefit of chocolate milk is the increased chance that children will drink it. If they drink it, then they will have the nutrients that come with it.

Chocolate milk is often a great source of not just calcium, vitamin A, and protein. In many instances, they are also fortified with vitamins D and B, along with other nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus¹.

Kids with lactose intolerance may also better tolerate choco milk because chocolate often slows down digestion¹.

Chocolate low-fat milk is also beneficial because it²:

  • Is a good source of carbohydrates.
  • Boosts the carbs supplied to the muscles and liver.
  • Provides hydration, considering it contains various minerals.

Things To Consider When Giving Children Chocolate Milk

When giving choco milk to kids, one critical thing to do is to read and compare labels.

Like mentioned, powdered or ready-to-drink flavored milk often contains extra sugars, fats, and even salts that offer little to no nutritional value³. For this reason, cross-check the label of the product not only with plain milk, but also with your child’s nutritional needs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says kids aged 2 years and older should only have 25 grams of sugar a day⁴. They must also limit their intake of saturated fats and keep their calories in check. Kids aged 4 to 18 often need 1,200 to 2,200 calories daily (depending on age group and gender)⁵.

Also, don’t worry about your kids not getting their calcium fill if they don’t drink choco milk. Remember that there are many other sources of calcium, like cheese, plain yogurt, green leafy veggies, and other fortified products. It wouldn’t do them any good to have enough calcium while having loads of sugars daily.

Encouraging Kids To Drink Plain Milk

At the end of the day, it’s still best to encourage kids to drink plain milk. Experts say they might like milk better when it’s served cold and in a glass instead of carton³. Also, consider serving them milk with whole grain cereals instead of asking them to drink it.

Some health advocates also recommend serving choco milk once in a while instead of daily.

Key Takeaways

Is choco milk better than plain milk? Some people say it is because kids like it more. However, chocolate milk and other flavored milk may have more sugar and fats. For this reason, parents must inspect the label of the product and ascertain whether it matches their child’s nutritional needs.

Learn more about Parenting here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 2 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Cesar Beltran