Hidden Sugars in Flavored Milk – Are They Necessary?

Although soda takes the most blame in the sugary drink debate, it isn’t the only sugary drink culprit. Often, you may think you’re choosing a low-sugar option when, in fact, you’re still loading up on the sweet stuff.

Take milk, for example. Milk is full of important vitamins but, if it’s flavored, it can also be the source of an excessive amount of sugar. That may seem obvious for chocolate milk but did you know that strawberry milk can have about four teaspoons of added sugar as well?

Many parents rely on fun flavors to get their kids to drink milk but as NPR recently reported, studies show that there is no evidence that kids need flavored milk – it has not been shown to increase milk intake.

When kids are young, it’s hard to explain “hidden sugars” to them, especially when those sugars are in reportedly good-for-you drinks like milk. That’s why it’s so important that we parents are reading nutrition labels and searching for better beverages for our families, to set examples of smart, healthy drink choices.

Next time your child asks for flavored milk, try this recipe from Parents.com.

Real Strawberry Milk

Ingredients (Makes two servings)

  • 3 cups fresh, hulled strawberries
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 2 fresh strawberries (for garnish)

Mix the strawberries and milk in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

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