As a father of a fantastic baby, I am always on the lookout for news and information about proper nutrition and, in general, keeping Chaim Yosef as healthy as possible. I was therefore displeased to read about a trend in schools about which I was not aware in the form of chocolate milk being served in school cafeterias.
It is good to see that some schools are wising up on the fact that chocolate milk should not be considered something of serious nutritive quality to give to children — any more than chocolate covered raisins or peanuts. (It always makes me giggle when people consume them in great quantity and talk about all of the protein they are getting from them.)
This summer, the Los Angeles Public School District banned chocolate milk from its lunchrooms, joining a growing list of states – including Florida – that link the sugary beverage to childhood obesity.
One school nutrition manager in Colorado has gone as far as dubbing chocolate milk “soda in drag.”
When I was growing up, chocolate milk was considered a dessert item, similar to a candy bar. It was never present in my own home as my mother did not want to expose us to products with excessive sugar as they tended to be poor in nutritional value and she had no interest in feeding us empty calories.
She was quite right and my brother and I did not suffer with weight struggles during our childhood and I believe that it has a lot to do with the fact that she pushed this strict healthy diet on us and always encouraged us to go outside and play rather than sit in front of the television and vegetate or play video games. We still got some video game time but we got plenty of time playing basketball, as bad as I was at actually getting the ball in the net.
Students now are suffering from increasingly worse obesity and it has gotten to the point that what was once called Adult Onset Diabetes is now just called Type Two Diabetes thanks to the vast number of children seen with it. Yet there is overwhelming evidence that the right kind of diet can even completely reverse so-called incurable diabetes.
I have tremendous hope that parents will make the right choices when it comes to teaching their children what to eat and, of course, drink. It is just a matter of the parents understanding that we live in a different age — so many more opportunities for children to be sedentary, with little fun being seen in physical activity. I can only hope that when Chaim Yosef is in school, with my encouragement, he will only eat what is best for him.