Originally Posted by AnnieA
You are making the assumption that a child will only drink one carton of chocolate milk per lunch. I've spent plenty of time in my kids' elementary school cafeteria and let me tell you, there's a lot more chocolate milk being consumed than one carton per child per lunch. As a PP said, the lunch program in my school district works off of a debit-style system. So kids have the option to keep "buying" things until the money runs out. They can go up and buy chips, fruit snacks, multiple cartons of chocolate milk, cookies the size of their faces, etc. I've told/asked my kids to buy skim milk or drink water. But real-world app of that request is the purchase of chocolate milk.
Imo, the option to buy extras is the real problem, not whether or not the milk is flavored. We had a pre-paid system in my small, private school when I was growing up. It was not card, though, (like it is there now) but tickets. One ticket got you one full meal. Beverage choices were whole milk, 2% milk, or chocolate milk (dont know fat content). You could only get juice if you had a dr's note that you were allergic to dairy. Then, you got the whole meal being served that day. That was it, no option to buy extras. With this system, I see no problem w/ kids drinking chocolate milk. Some kids will tell you that they do not like white milk anyway. I rarely serve dd flavored milk, but I drink it every morning! I would rather see her drink 3 glasses of flavored milk per day than none at all. Nowadays, of course my old school has switched to the card system and they offer all kinds of extras. My mom still teaches there and she hates it b/c some kids will just eat nachos for lunch.
I really really do not see the point of offering children all of these options to buy additional junky food at lunch time. I can understand offering extra HEALTHY food to buy b/c some kids need more food, but not nachos, cookies, chips, mini donuts, etc. We had that in high school & I think by then kids are old enough to have that freedom (we also had a salad bar then, too). If you are old enough to drive a car, you are old enough to choose soda and a cookie for lunch, even if the choice is not optimal. I think it's irresponsible of a school to present a six-year-old w/ these kinds of food choices. Hello, of course they will buy all the junk, they are so little! I can easily see the nutritional value of drinking a flavored milk, but not in eating a pack of mini donuts!!!