Monday, December 12, 2011

The Problem Isn’t Flavored Milk, It’s Milk

Deutsch: Ein Glas Milch English: A glass of mi... I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I truly believe that we should all have healthier diets, and that school lunches need to be dramatically revamped for our kids.

That said, I cringe when I read about the movement to get rid of flavored milk with school lunch. Yes, we need to get rid of chocolate milk, strawberry milk, and any other sugared version of milk. No debate there.

My beef (no dairy pun intended) is with all types of cow’s milk.

You see, milk is what caused my son so much distress at school during his elementary school years, before we discovered he was allergic to it. Until he had an official diagnosis of food allergy, he had no other beverage options with the lunch the school served. And even after we knew about his food allergies, milk was still everywhere at the lunch table.

I find it amazing that our food pyramid still recognizes milk as an entire food group, and suggests that our children consume three cups a day, when so many of our children are allergic to it. Consider that we are the only mammals who consume another mammal’s milk. Who decided this was good for us?

Here’s my list of possible alternatives to the usual milk with school lunch:
  • Orange juice fortified with calcium
  • Hemp milk
  • Coconut milk beverage (the lower fat alternative to pure coconut milk)
  • A veggie smoothie
  • Water (do any of our kids drink enough water?)
What do you think? What beverage would you like to see served with school lunch?


Susan Weissman said...

My son is anaphylactic to milk. And there is a self serve milk machine in his cafeteria. Once a child spilled milk on his leg there and yes, he got hives and had to go the nurse. That said, my other child (same school) isn't milk allergic. So I try to look at both angles. I'm familiar with all those substitutes and for most school budgets they won't provide the same calcium and protein for the same price. I wish they would. It would be easier on the milk allergic kids and the lactose intolerant. I'm still waiting for that equivalent milk substitute.

Colette said...

Susan, have you tried hemp milk? It's our favorite. Of course, not a chance the schools will stock it.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

No, not a chance the schools will stock it. None of the children, let alone the children with special dietary needs, can expect adequate meals or snacks at school these days. But more and more parents are being very conscientious about their children's diets now, so ... we'll see.