Questions & Answers (Q&A)
What about flavored milk? Why prohibit that?
Flavored milk contains unnecessary sweeteners. Milk is an important source of nutrients, but young children shouldn't grow accustomed to sweetened milk as it reinforces unhealthy beverage selection habits later in life.
Sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugary drinks all have unnecessary added sugars or other sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup. Flavored milk is considered a sugary drink due to the added sweeteners that consequently have no added nutritional value to plain milk, and add unwanted empty calories.
In addition to water's role in maintaining a healthy weight, replacing sugary drinks with free tap water, which is often fluoridated, can help to prevent tooth decay, one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Or, if serving milk, offer unflavored fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.