Friday, June 18, 2010

D.C. Schools to Discontinue Flavored Milk, Sugary Cereal

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

Jeffrey Mills, director of food services for D.C. Public Schools, told parents at H.D. Cooke Elementary school yesterday that the city's schools beginning in the fall would no longer serve flavored milk or sugary cereals.

Mills made the remarks at a meeting to discuss staffing changes in the H.D. Cook cafeteria and further details could not be obtained. A PTA officer at the meeting said Mills told the parents that other positive changes in cafeteria menus would be made by the time school resumes in August.

Chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk, as well as sugary cereals such as Apple Jacks, Raisin Bran and chocolate-flavored Little Bite Mini-Wheats, have been standard fare for breakfast in D.C. schools. Flavored milks contain nearly as much sugar as Classic Coke or Mountain Dew, and when served alongside sugary cereals and breakfast treats such as Pop-Tarts. Giant Goldfish Grahams and orange juice, consitute meals containing 60 grams of sugar before classes even begin. That's the equivalent of 15 teaspoons of sugar, more than a quarter cup.

Some experts argue that the empty calories from sugar cause behavorial problems in school and prime children for health problems ranging from tooth decay to obesity and early onset of diabetes. Flavored milks also cause a drain on school food budgets because they are more expensive than plain milk. But the dairy industry has fought hard to keep flavored milk in school, fearing that children would drink less milk if it did not contain the added sugar.

Many D.C. students drink flavored milk at least twice a day in school, both at breakfast and at lunch, even though other sugary beverages such as sodas, sport drinks and teas have been banned from schools since 2006.

Low-fat milk typically contains 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar as lactose in an 8-ounce service. The chocolate-flavored milk in D.C. schools, from Cloverland Dairy, lists 24 grams of sugar, the added sugar coming from high-fructose corn syrup. Strawberry-flavored milk from Cloverland Dairy contains 28 grams of sugar, or seven teaspoons.

Apple Jacks cereal lists 9 grams of sugar in a 1-ounce serving, or a bit more than two teaspoons, compared to just 1 gram of sugar in a similar serving of regular Cheerios. Cereals with higher sugar content, served aggressively by the D.C. Public Schools' hired food service contractor, Chartwells, are seen as a vehicle for imprinting on vulnerable children the popular kids' brands of corporate food companies such as Kellogg's, which pays hefty rebates to have its products promoted in schools.

The move to reduce sugar in D.C. school food would be significant, since neither U.S. Department of Agriculture standards nor the District's recently adopted "Healthy Schools" act regulate the amount of sugar in school meals. It would bring the District in line with other progressive jurisdicitions that have eliminated flavored milk as a health measure. Typically, milk sales drop after flavored milk is removed, but eventually rebound once students get used to the idea of drinking plain milk.

Mills, who previously worked developing restuarant concepts in New York City, took the DCPS food services job six months ago after the positioin had gone unfilled for a year. He has promised to act aggressively to improve D.C. school food quality. We will certainly report further details as they become available.

115 comments:

  1. Great news! Thanks for all your hard work on this issue, Ed. It's great also to see that the new food services director really gets it!

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  2. Congratulations! I have no doubt that your reporting on the sugar in DC's breakfast made a huge difference.

    Sara Jones

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  3. One battle won! Now for the rest of the food war! Great Job!

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  4. Thank God! I volunteered with kids at the Community of Hope shelter in Columbia Heights, and I remember being shocked at the menu I saw for the DCPS breakfast program. Some days it was basically dessert plus sugared milk! In the shelter we went from junky snacks during a weekly playtime to healthy ones, and while I thought we'd have unhappy kids at first, I never heard a single complaint. The kids would even ask for extra fruit to take with them after playtime. And when I'd ask them what their favorite foods were, they'd consistently say collards and chicken (always the top favorites) and then other vegetables. Adults need to wake up already!

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  5. yes! making a difference in d.c. i love it.

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  6. That's great news! Congratulations on winning a battle in this ongoing war :)

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  7. It just makes sense to get rid of the sugar! Kids can adapt so much easier than people think. Besides, if their friends are eating it so will they!! Love what you are doing!

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  8. This is such great, positive news! Hope everyone shares this and others are inspired! Take a stand!!!

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  9. This is amazing news. Glad the message is getting across!

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  10. GREAT NEWS & I fully admire your initiative to keep our future healthy

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  11. Since when is Raisin Bran considered a 'sugary cereal'? Ridiculous.

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  12. I sit on a fence....flavored milk is not the culprit here. Foodstuffs like Sugar Laden Cereal are more to blame.....Kids need Dairy! And there is a great oppurtunity in the Public Schools to offer that serving at breakfast and lunch. Flavored milk may have more sugar but the nutritional value should not be ignored.
    In Denver and Aurora, Colorado we are doing the same. I appreciate the changes b/c the intent is good. But the REAL problem lies with the foodstuffs purchased to serve as meals. More Fruit and Vegetables should be offered with school breakfast and lunch. The school kitchens need to take back the kitchen and COOK.

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  13. Anonymous Go read the label on Raisin Bran, more sugar than you might think! They cover the already sweet raisins with sugar and sometimes the flakes too. Check labels before you snark. Seriously.

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  14. Not so ridiculous. Raising bran contains more sugar that any of the other cereals served in D.C. schools--more than Lucky Charms, even. It's mostly about the sugar frosting they put on the already sugar-dense raisins. Read our previous post on Raisin Bran:

    http://betterdcschoolfood.blogspot.com/2010/05/whats-for-breakfast-raisin-bran-worst.html

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  15. glad to hear this news, adults need to look out for our children. thank you

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  16. great news! thanks so much for your hard work.

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  17. I think you made this happen Ed. Great work!

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  18. I used to volunteer teach French during lunch hour at a public school, and whenever I brought a container full of fresh cut celery, cucumber, green peppers and carrots, the kids went nuts for it! Good job, you guys! Great work!

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  19. THANK GOD THEY ARE STARTING TO LISTEN

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  20. Where is the science/study to support the statement that "milk sales drop after flavored milk is removed, but eventually rebound once students get used to the idea of drinking plain milk."? There is no statistically valid study to support this.

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  21. I'm pleased at this small step, but skeptical. Are they going to replace the sugar with a good source of protein? If it's all carbs without protein to balance it, it will just convert to sugar anyway. And when the kids crash they might even complain and blame it on the lack of sugar, or on lower milk consumption or something ridiculous like that. I hate to be critical, I just hope some intelligent thought is being put into this, and it's not just a reaction to complaining parents.

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  22. I am so pleased about this encouraging news. Thanks to all who raised awareness about this issue and kudos to Jeffrey Mills and others in DCPS for this big step in the right direction.

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  23. The rest of the US needs to follow!

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  24. Great news! Wish this would happen in my school district.

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  25. This is AWESOME!!! Can you work on PA please! Before my daughter goes to school. She's two so you have a couple of years to work on it :p Love this site!

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  26. Wish they had the option of Almond, Rice, Soy, or Hemp Milk.
    Regular milk just makes kids fat and it's only purpose in this world is to make baby cows into big cows.
    Parents should take action and make their children bring lunch. Mine did. And in all the years of school I had I can count on one hand the amount of times I ate school food.

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  27. I completely agree with banning the cereal. But, seriously, we should not ban chocolate milk unless sugary sodas, too, are banned. By doing so, we are eliminating healthier alternatives. And, realistically, when given the option to choose between cola and plain milk, most kids will opt for the even sugary coke. Also keep in mind that studies are showing that drinking milk post exercise is proving to be one of the best ways to recover and build muscle for kids. We can't ignore the big picture here.

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  28. This is a giant step and a positive one for these children. Not having children myself, I didnt realize that children were served breakfast and when I saw what they were served I thought...geez..thanks for nothing, hungry would be better. Pink sugar foam over crysalized sugar balls..yummy..not! If you want kids to do well in school you have to fuel them for it. Great job DC...let the rest of the US follow.

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  29. Come on you all grew up on chocloate milk. If you would make our kids excecise and get up from their electronics then you would have healthier kids. How about some discipline at home so that behaviour is improved. Don't blame food for all your parental failings. You all crack me up. A bunch of slackers blaimng the milk company for your childs behaviour problems. What's next mac and cheese, pizza, ice pops..OH not those that's what you feed your kids at home, so they are fine..Good choices!!

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  30. I 'weaned' my kids off flavored milk (amongst juice and other sugary foods) after problems with tooth decay. Eventually, they took to drinking - and enjoying - plain milk (and whole fruits) because they had no choice. Although they're also enjoying WATER now which is a delight to me. It's up to us to make their food decisions. Kids like mine will always choose the sweeter options if they're offered.

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  31. Kudos to you D.C.! Now if only the Atlanta area could follow in your footsteps...

    Keep up the good work!!

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  32. @ Anonymous on the fence -- I was raised on whole milk -- plain, ordinary, unflavored, whole milk. That's what was put on cereals, what we drank, what was used when cooking and recipes called for milk. To add "chocolate" to the milk was a once in a while, rare TREAT. It was a TREAT, not a normal day-to-day occurrence. Children will drink milk -- plain, ordinary white milk, without any added sugary flavorings. I would rather see a school district limit the choices and provide healthier options than attempt to justify the high sugar content as a means to deliver calcium.

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  33. Jamie this is AWESOME!! As a resident of D.C. and a former resident of Huntington, WV, I am really excited to see change coming! My son is almost 2...and it would be great to send him to school in D.C. and know he's getting nutritious foods! Thanks for all your hard work!

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  34. This is such Great News to hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope more States move to adopt this new ban on sugary products!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  35. The funny thing is that pasteurized milk is pretty useless anyway. The dairy council is spouting all sorts of health benefits that haven't proven themselves. We drink more milk than any other country and have the highest osteoporosis rates...I'll be sending raw milk to school with my kids. At least this is a step in the right direction. But they should save their money and give them purified water instead. REAL cheese chunks could replace the milk. Kids love cheese. And they NEED the fat!

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  36. Brilliant!! Now let's see this change happen in Maryland...

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  37. Yeah! I really wished my state would do the same. Growing up we had chocolate milk once a week in the cafeteria. It was a fun treat that we looked forward to.

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  38. WooHoo! Congrats on your steps towards healthier school meals. I hope that your example impacts schools in the Dallas area!

    --Marla

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  39. Kudos @Carol! I was raised the same- never had chocolate milk stocking my fridge like my friends did- my Mom had a commitment to serving us good, healthy food long before it was ever a trend. Because of her, I also now feed my 7 year old the same way. It has a domino effect people- teach your kids and they will teach theirs one day. Also, @ Anonymous, most fitness trainers and nutritionists will tell you 75% of health is what you consume, the other 25% is exercise....

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  40. this is a great start! Lets just hope they dont start replacing sugary tastes with artificial sweeteners.

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  41. I fully agree about flavored milk being a 'treat', just as going to McDonalds was a 'treat'. When did crappy foods become daliy meals??? Especially in school! I hope the school's can now lead by example when it comes to nutrition. We teach kids in school history, math etc... Let's teach them how to choose healthier foods! This is the first generation to die before their parents! These young kids have disease's that their grandparents have do to their sedentary lifestyles and horrible eating habbits. Thank you Jamie for all your help!!!

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  42. This is so exciting! Its happening!

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  43. GREAT NEWS!! Wish us in Maryland would follow suit- we're just across the border! Every time I let my child buy lunch he says all they had was chocolate or strawberry milk. Which tells me that they don't even order enough plain white milk. Can someone tell me how to start this process??

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  44. Great news. We need to keep up this trend and get all the junk out of all the schools. Parents can't oversee what the kids are eating in school. Let's not undermine parents anymore.

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  45. GREAT NEWS.. GREAT START.. not convinced that kids need dairy at all - but I know the country is hooked on it.. My son is 11 yrs old - has had little to no dairy and is healthy as a horse ! He drinks SOY milk on his non sugary cereal, and drinks ALOT of water... he has been raised that way and loves it. Kids need to drink more water but not bottled water, go to the drinking fountain. Everything you can get from Cows Milk - you can get else where in a healthy varied diet. Cows milk in my opinion is for making baby cows BIG, fast. But getting the flavored milk and soda pops out of schools is a HUGE step - so KUDOS to all that worked very hard on this !!

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  46. Yeah!!! Bring this to Massachusetts!

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  47. This is EXCELLENT news! I hope that more schools will follow. Hopefully, it will spill over to the parents too. :) Great job!

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  48. Jamie, I so applaud your efforts but I have to say I'm a little concerned. Being African-American and knowing that in the African American community there is a very high rate lactose intolerance and remembering clearly that the only way that I could drink milk as I child(literally drink a cup without being nauseous) was with chocolate. That holds true to this very day. Why is there no alternative for kids who can't consume milk? Like say SKIM or a 2%... a lighter version of milk to make it easier to consume, heck even water might be a nice alternative. I know what you are doing is good and right but in DC knowing that audience I dare say the kids will have quite a time trying both before and after consuming whole white milk. Good luck.

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  49. Hallelujah! One small (yet huge) VICTORY !!!
    It's hard to believe that it is this difficult to make these kinds of changes. It really seems like a "no brainer" to me. How did it get this bad? Where are the nutritionists? Why is it that schools seem to be done so poorly in every way, we underpay our teachers, underfund our classrooms and feed our kids crap. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Seriously.

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  50. AWESOME NEWS! I cannot wait for OTHER schools to follow suit. Our school lunches are less than desirable and my kids tend to complain about how unhealthy they are. If my KIDS are complaining....you can imagine how bad it really is. This year we are attempting to pack every day to help eliminate all the processed foods.

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  51. Yes! Thank you Mr. Mills for taking a stand. How many kids have been diagnosed as ADHD. For many of these kids, a change in diet will do wonders. After all, is it ANY wonder why so many kids are bouncing off the walls. Sugar and carb overload. Thanks again Mr. Mills.

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  52. How can we do this here in Houston? We really need to do something here!

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  53. This is greats news. I can't believe 7 teaspoons of sugar are in one little serving of milk! I am thankful that I made the decision not to let my kids eat alot of sugar when they were young. I used to limit them to one piece of candy a day which I defined as "A skittle". It worked they are in high school now and they regularly turn down things like cake and complain that things are too sweet.

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  54. Yes, lactose intolerant choice would be nice.

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  55. YA! So glad! Hope to see all schools follow D.C.

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  56. Wow -- that is incredible news.
    Next step: get the school cafeterias to serve the veggies grown by the kids in the school garden!

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  57. I agree somewhat to everything that has been said. But lets not blame the school lunches for the down fall of nutrition. You have an the option to pack your child's lunch. The problem lies with the USDA and the Schools Nutrition Director. Most cooks do not make up the menus they just fix them. I have seen what the parents have packed for their children, and believe its nothing but junk food. I am a cook at an elementary school, and we fix food from scratch. The kids don't even know to break or cut corn bread or a homemade roll in half to butter it. They spread butter on the top of it then throw it in the garbage. I do fresh fruits and vegetables 3 to 4 times a week, and again it goes in the garbage. If you don't give them dip "well then forget it" they will dip a carrot and lick off the dip and throw away the carrot. Children need to learn to eat their fresh fruits and vegetables at home at an early age. Lets not be blaming the school system for everything. Parents have an obligation here as well. I am completely for removing flavored milk from our school and have even suggested it, but was shut down really quickly. Don't blame schools for your child being over weight this responsibility falls on the parents not the school system. When I raised my children I feed them breakfast at home. Today parents are to lazy to get out of bed and do this or their late for work. Excuse me, but being a parent should come first. So quit blaming everyone else for your lack of parenthood. Yes there is a need to improve school lunches, but lets improve their food at home as well.

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  58. Way to go Jamie, finally changes for the better. Keep the ball rolling.

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  59. I'm thrilled. Thank you for setting this precedent. I hope it spreads from there!! Come on Minnesota!

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  60. Congratulations on this EXCELLENT example for our nation's schools. And thank you to all of those, including Jamie Oliver, who brought this to our attention and were courageous enough to make and take a stand.

    Again... THIS IS HEALTHY AND EXCELLENT NEWS!!

    Diane in Oregon

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  61. Way to go Evie! I'm right there with you! And to the parents who give their kids soy thinking it's a more nutritional choice, can you say GMO? Seriously, everyone thinks that soy is a magic food, and it can be quite good for you when prepared properly. But what the Asians eat is not the same thing you're drinking. All that soy crap on our grocery shelves is nothing more than GMO soy engineered by our friends at Monsanto. It's the equivalent of eating Dolly the sheep. And that's just gross.

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  62. Nice! Good job DC, keep the revolution alive. Healthy diets for kids!

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  63. First of all - kids DO NOT need milk. That's a myth purported by the industry. Secondly, if flavored milk contains as much sugar (and HFCS) as soda, it negates any actual health benefits. Just because it says MILK it doesn't always translate to healthy. For those who insist that kids need dairy, there are better sources - whole milk yogurt (NOT single-serving Yoplait or Dannon - they're mostly sugar and filler and definitely NOT yogurt) and cheese.

    Parents in this country need to stop feeding their kids junk. Plain and simple. Convenience should never be considered when making smart and healthy food choices.

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  64. I am THRILLED at this ban and hope that other states will follow. We can't change what parents feed them at home, but we can show them how they should be eating when they're away.

    Yea!

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  65. This is really great to hear. I'm glad that we are constantly moving towards a healthier environment with small steps like this.

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  66. That is AWESOME! Now hurry up ban and come to California where there are nothing but sugared-up wacky children! I see parents buying their children sodas, flavored icky juices....its horrible and yes flavored milk?? oh geez . save our kids!!

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  67. If kids really "need" dairy, why are we focusing on milk instead if cultured milk products like cheese or yogurt? The vitamin benefits touted by the daily industry can be obtained in either of these forms of dairy. Yogurt, especially, can be singled out as a beneficial food, due to its supply of gut-friendly bacteria.

    (Of course, not all cultured dairy products are created equally. You can load-up a 6 oz container of yogurt with lots of HFCS, as the makers of that Go-Gurt product proved a few years ago.)

    The overarching point to this issue is supposedly the nutritional content of the foods we feed our children, so again, I find it interesting how there's so much focus on milk when there are other food combinations which could supply the same vitamins, but in a more bio-available form. There's an excellent list of calcium-rich foods over at FoodReactions.org which includes broccoli, shrimp, molasses, figs and almonds.

    Point is: that pint of milk, regardless of its flavor constituents, isn't necessary. Water would serve our children better in a world where the predominance of their "nutrition" exposure consists of processed foods and refined sugar.

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  68. Regarding the comment about "being on the fence" I think we should remember that kids WILL drink what is put in front of them. I don't know of any elementary schools any more that offer soda to elementary school children, so the choice shouldn't have to be made. Here's my biggest issue: we don't allow children to advocate for their own health and well being in ANY other circumstance, so why do we think it's right to let them "choose" at lunch or breakfast? Chocolate milk should be a TREAT not an every day occurrence as someone else said. While it may take a week or two, if kids don't have another option they will drink they healthy, plain milk. I totally agree that milk isn't the only problem and foods need to be revamped too. But giving kids "choices" just isn't right at such a young age. I wouldn't give my kid the "choice" to play in the street or in the park- so I surely wouldn't let them choose between sugary cereal/milk and a more healthy option!

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  69. Congratulations!I'm so glad to hear it! However when is Wisconsin going to make the change, there is many obese children here that could use the change of milks and sugary foods in the schools. Keep in mind though it takes the parents changing their life styles too.

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  70. Keep making us better! Great Job!

    Big Brands Suck~! They suck your money, energy and health!

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  71. This is fantastic! I wish they would do it here in Ohio. Hopefully this movement will get others to follow as well! Thanks for all your hard work Jamie!!

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  72. Way to go, DC schools. And since we're talking about an educational institution, I'll share an educational experience of my own (courtesy of my wise wife). When my son was about five, he started asking for a popular, sugary kids cereal. I refused many times over the course of a few months, until my wife said to me "Let him have them, and then we'll explain how they affect his health". And sure enough, after a few days of eating them for breakfast and lunch, he was sneezing, had watery eyes, coughing up mucus...a classic cold. We explained that eating too much sugar kept his body from fighting off nasty bacteria and viruses. I won't say he never eats that junk anymore, but it's very, very rare, and he knows how his body will react. So I say, let your kids experience the cause and effect, then teach them. They'll get on board (and stay on board) with you, and won't become teen-age junk food addicts, rebelling against their healthy parents :)

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  73. Glad to see yet another public school finally making the the right choice!! We have not served flavored milk or sugary cereal for the past six years in the Novato Unified School District (K-12) in Marin County CA. We also eliminated all juices from the menu around the same time. We did not experience a drop in our student participation when we made these changes. What we do know is that children who participate in our program are consuming far less simple refined sugars.

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  74. For the future of our children... thank you.

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  75. This is super exciting news! So great!! Keep up the hard work...it's truly making a difference. Truly exciting!

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  76. Doesn't anyone know that cow's milk is not good, flavored or not, for many, many kids. The raise in autism rates correlates to this if you do the research. Children are getting "leaky gut" syndrome from the peptides in milk. This causes lots of medical issues and turns into behavior problems. Before you respond about the nutritional benefits of milk, do the research. We do not need milk for calcium, we can get that from vegetables. Cows milk is for cows. Doctors will not tell you this. My son had diarrhea for 10 years due to milk. It turned into leaky gut and caused him to be severely malnurished to the point where he needed to have nutritional ivs by the time he was 16. Do the research. It is a heartbreaking illness and milk contributes greatly to it.

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  77. I agree with DC schools, way to go its a start, wish NY school would start,I also agree with the person that works in a kitchen of a elementary school. Kids need to try knew stuff, and start to learn to eat them at home when they are young, dont always blame the people that are doing the cooking they are only doing what they are told to do, We serve fresh fruit and have kids that dont know what some of the common fruit is, and that is very sad( apple, pear,oranges) Take a look at the lunches that kids bring to school, some come without even a sandwich, just junk food. the parents say oh they wont eat the sandwich,well it all starts at home, at least have them try stuff. As far as the exercise they need to be brought up with playing and limit them to tv or videos and be behind your child or even teenager if they want to be in sports, encourage them to play sports,music or be in a club, that will keep them busy and not sitting around eating junk foods. We all need to work together to make USA a healthy USA.

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  78. I wish our district would make a postitive change like this! Great to hear!

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  79. I hope other states will follow D.C. It's a step in the right direction. Now if only the parents will not buy this stuff for at home. Much more education is needed. That's what I do part time-talk to parents regarding nutrition.

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  80. I am SO GLAD to see the schools cutting back on sugary sodas and flavored milk and fattening foods! I am over 65 and I can't believe what they are serving in my schools here in MI. I went to my grandson's school one day to help out his class. I was invited to eat lunch with him and I just couldn't believe what they were serving. I am diabetic and if I ate even a quarter of what they were serving those kids, my sugar would have been off the charts! No wonder these kids are having health problems earlier than any other generation!! Please, someone do something for the Michigan schools before it is too late!

    Snowyrivers in MI

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  81. As a Pre-K teacher in TN I have been told to not put a ban on chocolate or snow milk, because some milk is better than no milk. There have been days when my students have had chocolate pop-tarts and chocolate milk for breakfast. Many students will put chocolate or snow milk in their cereal. Just watching it makes me sick! I have no doubt that if I were to chart their behavior on these days versus on other days that I would find a huge difference.
    Thank heavens someone out there gets it! Maybe the rest of the nation will follow along.

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  82. This is wonderful! Now may the rest of the country follow!

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  83. This is great news!! How can we get this going in my state, Ohio? There is currently a push to bring less pop but more milk, including a host of flavored varieties, into schools statewide. Many of us feel this is unacceptable!

    But again, great work in DC!!!

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  84. great news. as a future educator, this really is encouraging news to hear. II'm proud to be included in this movement and i strongly encourage everyone to support their local communities in the effort as well.

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  85. It is on the news almost everyday. I think messages are finally getting out! Glad my son still just has plain old skimmilk from our carton at home in his thermos at school. It takes too long at lunch time to go through the milk line at school.....YAY!

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  86. What was the history of the DC Schools coming to such a sugary and processed diet? Knowing this would offer a path for schools to avoid.

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  87. The Federal (tax payer) Govt pays for the Chocolate along with the left over chicken "stuff", I work in a school kitchen and I wish they would do that where I work (kids are actually starting to drink less milk all together here which I totally welcome).
    whats cows milk good for ? baby cows.

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  88. One would think that as American tax payers one would NOT want to buy kids chocolate (great bbc docu Chocolate:The Bitter Truth)or condiments either or food that will bring on bad health (costs more in the long run).
    Ketchup could easily go also, more funds for better food.

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  89. Teachers need to be good examples !! the kids do watch you and what you eat.

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  90. This is a great idea, and a very small step...problem is that you need to go so much further. Get rid of the regular milk and switch to organic skim milk. Kids are getting hormones and antibiotics in their milk, which is also bad for their health. Organic cereals that have no BHT a cancer causing preservative is in most "brand-name" cereals, but not in organics. The population needs so much more education about what to feed their kids. What amazes me is that more people don't do research on their own about what is good for you or what is harmful. You can find out so much by just using the internet. Processed food is the major cause of most diseases. The country needs a major initiative to start changing the way we eat and in what quantities. Hope this helps.

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  91. That is great. We should never give our kids the option to choose something for themselves. Let's take away every need they have to make a choice. That way, they will never learn how to make a proper decision and they will depend on us forever. Good thinking.

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  92. I wish you would come to our town here in Wisconsin and do the same for us!!! Our menus are horrible. Great job, lets get the whole country doing this now!! Thanks K

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  93. My daughter will be starting public school in 1 year and it frightens me that these are the options. I hope jamie olivers plan get's to new hampshire in time.

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  94. I'm glad to see it beginning to turn around. The problem here is not the children, it the choices they're given. Stop giving them choices. School cooks need to cook (they did when I was growing up), not defrost and reheat. And there should only be one menu entree or offer a choice of another healthy item. Start with the first grade and teach the children to eat right from the beginning. They're childern and don't need to have a choice. And if parents are going to send lunches, they should have the same guidelines to follow as the schools, or nail them for child abuse.

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  95. Alright DC. ATLANTA, GA next!!!!!!!

    Michele Obama and Jamie Oliver are touching our kids. It will work!!

    Chris

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  96. Maybe the individual who stated when was Rasin Bran considered a sugary cereal should learn how to read a nutrition label!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  97. An aside here.
    I live near Charleston WV and watched with interest Jamie's specials done in Huntington WV.
    It appears all the grief he got with the school meals has paid off. The USDA and Huntington School district are changing the school menus to provide more nutritional and fresh fruits and veggies and eliminate processed foods. YAY!!!

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  98. I'm glad some schools are taking away the flavored milks - they are rediculous.

    But it also annoys me to no end the American obsession with milk. As soon as someone mentions limiting or removing milk, everyone gasps in horror. Oh how will you get enough calcium??? America has one of the highest rate of cow milk consumption in the world - and also one of the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world. Hmmm... The calcium in milk is poorly absorbed. Plus there are other ways of getting calcium in one's diet...

    I wish they offered kids other options... unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, rice milk... (while I love soy milk, it has it's own set of issues). Unfortunately, those are much more expensive than dairy milk.

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  99. Congratulations DC! To those of you who have issues with regular milk. Regular milk in much of the country does not have hormones added to it especially if it is supplied from Amish and Menonite dairies. Children do need some fat in their diets and so I do not have issues with whole milk. My kids drink regular skim milk at home and whole white milk at school because that is what the school offers. Revolution foods provides the lunches at my sons school and we have been very happy with their organic options. The kids are given the option of a salad, a wrap, or two hot entrees every day (one of which is vegetarian and one of which is dairy free) The kids eat the food with out complaint vegetables and fruits included. I found it interesting that when we did the Cub Scout blue and Gold dinner. Almost every child voluntarily serve themselves both a salad and a vegetable. I am not sure it has always been that way but it has worked in our school. The school also removed all vending machines - soda and junk food from the premises.

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  100. Rebecca C., Registered Dietitian, Denver COJune 29, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    This a great move that I wish all schools would make. Dairy foods can be healthy and they do provide essential nutrients, but these nutrients can be also be obtained from other food groups. A thorough research review on the benefits of dairy foods reveals that they may not be quite as important as the dairy industry and lobby would have us believe. Why does our country have the highest rates of bone fractures despite having the highest consumption of dairy? Other factors - that's why. Research does not support dairy consumption at any cost, and cutting out flavored milk is a wiser choice than keeping it around to satisfy the dairy industry's recommended intake.

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  101. that's great!!! Being a foreigner living in the US I was appalled at what kids eat here at lunch times. And the thought of my toddler son going to school getting junk served to him was unbearable (don't worry, i pack lunch for my husband and will also do this for my son when he goes to school). I was super excited Jamie was coming here, and was hoping he could make a change here too. Dc is the beginning! Let Oklahoma be next please! This needs to keep growing!

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  102. This is fantastic! Hopefully it's only the beginning!

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  103. That is fantastic news. Seeing the photo of the fruit loops being covered in strawberry milk makes me cringe. Hope this is only city one of thousands!!

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  104. milk is already sweet (lactose!). things with the suffix -ose are usually sugar oriented. lactose, fructose, glucose, sucrose.

    no need for flavored milk in schools. let parents make that decision in the home.

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  105. i just wish Portugal would do the same..!

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  106. Such a good and exciting thing to hear!! I work in a daycare with children between the ages of 1 and 5 and i am so heartbroken over the food we are "required" by the fda to give them. Sugary cereals first thing in the morning, and all processed food all day every day! And everyone is wondering why there are so many kids in our center that are either bouncing off the walls or are really irritable. I wish everyone would pay more attention and get with it!!

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  107. This is wonderful. I hope This inspires flavored milk to be banned from schools everywhere

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  108. As an obese women who struggles everyday to try to break the sugar habit I am thrilled schools are waking up to how serious this issue can be. I have been in two treatment centers & had gastric by-bass surgery & I still struggle daily to fight my addiction to sugar. Keep up the good work you give us all hope!

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  109. I am a teacher in a public school. Someone made a comment that students look up to us and the choices we make. Well, my students don't see my lunch, because I am on lunch break when they eat. They should, however, see their parents and the choices the parents make for a healthy meal.
    I have also seen kids bring worse choices from home (if that is at all possible) than the junk that is served in the cafeteria. My school also offers extra dessert the kids can purchase. I always told the kids that they need to at least eat their entree and one veggie side before they can get dessert. I was told by the cafeteria manager that this is against the rules, since the fed. gov. pays for their lunch, and we cannot dicatate what they choose from the menu.
    Do you parents let your kids choose what's for dinner at home? Do you cook 5 different things, and then let them take the one with the least nutritional value? I don't. At my house, I cook one dinner and you can take it or leave it. Why can't schools do that? Schools are not restaurants where we have to please everybody. If you let the kids choose, they will have a burger and fries. Justg like if you let them choose whether to do homework or not. Kids do not know what is best for them yet. That is still our job as parents!

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  110. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

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  111. Useful information, many thanks to the author. It is puzzling to me now, but in general, the usefulness and importance is overwhelming. Very much thanks again and good luck!

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  112. Great Job! It shows the school concern to our children's health. Thanks DC.

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  113. As an obese women who struggles everyday to try to break the sugar habit I am thrilled schools are waking up to how serious this issue can be. I have been in two treatment centers & had gastric by-bass surgery & I still struggle daily to fight my addiction to sugar. Keep up the good work you give us all hope!

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