When D.C. public school students return from summer vacation this August, they will notice a change in the menu. Jeffery Mills, director of food services, recently announced that there will no longer be flavored milk offered at public school cafeterias.
Strawberry milk and chocolate milk were both previously included in D.C. public school breakfasts and lunches. The school system once argued that students wouldn’t drink skim or two-percent milk, and that any milk was better than no milk in a student’s diet. Although regular milk is a good source of calcium and protein, the sugary flavored version can have as much sugar as soda. Most of this sugar comes from high fructose corn syrup, one of the key ingredients cited in the rise of obesity. Some proponents of the change even links high levels of sugar in public school lunches with behavioral problems among students.
The change is a positive step towards encouraging students to adopt healthier eating habits, a new policy that’s been taken on by the D.C. school system. Other parts of the reform include switching to less sugary cereals and improve the overall quality of fresh food served in school cafeterias.