While removing soda from cafeterias in public schools is well advised, flavored milks have a profound nutritional benefit for children. Often times, most toddlers stop drinking milk once they are weaned off of the bottle. This is when calcium-rich milk is replaced by more appealing beverages such as concentrated juices and sodas that are loaded with sugar and provide little to no calcium.

Calcium is critical for growth and development which is a process that can last well into your 20’s. The RDA for calcium is 800mg for children aged 4 to 8 years and 1,300mg a day for those who are 9 to 18 years old. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of adolescent girls and 60 percent of boys fail to get the recommended daily amount of calcium.

If it is a decision between chocolate milk, soda and juice, flavored milk is by far the best choice. It is a great source of calcium and protein, two essential nutrients for strong and optimal bone mass.

  Calcium Calories Protein Sugar
8oz chocolate milk                  400mg 150 8g


8oz coca-cola 0mg 100 0g 27g
8oz orange juice  20mg 100 1g  22g

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of www.Skinnyandthecity.com. She is also the creator of The F-Factor Diet™, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto www.FFactorDiet.com