Sugar in Chocolate Milk Compared to Other Treats

(Source: Dr. Dina Rose, The (Chocolate) Milk Mistake. Detailed list at bottom.)

THESE NUMBERS ARE ASTOUNDING AND seeing it in black and white (so to speak) drives home how much sugar kids are consuming when they have packaged chocolate milk once or twice every day.

Sugar is only one part of the picture, though, and for sure milk has more nutrients than those other treats. The whole picture includes our entire food culture.

HOW DO WE WANT OUR KIDS TO THINK ABOUT FOOD, portion food, and eat food? Every meal, snack, or grocery shopping trip is a view into our food culture and it’s up to us as parents to consciously decide what food culture messages we want to give our kids.

Chocolate milk is one example of how we can define our family’s food culture. By giving chocolate milk on a daily or regular basis, a parent is making a conscious decision to blur the line between treat and growing food, to say “yes, milk doesn’t taste good enough on its own, so let’s add chocolate”, and to give additional sugar that is basically hidden from the child in a healthy food.

There’s not necessarily a right or wrong here; each family has to make their own decisions and stand behind those decisions.

THE BOTTOM LINE: As parents, only we can and should decide what our kids eat. The food decisions we make should be done thoughtfully and purposefully. We should be able to stand behind them as sending the food culture message to our kids that we mean to send.

Chart Details:

  • 1 cup packaged chocolate milk = 28g sugar
  • 1 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar = 24g sugar
  • 1 serving Cocoa Krispies = 12g sugar
  • 2 Entenmann’s Softees Powdered Donuts = 26g sugar
  • 1 Dairy Queen Child’s Chocolate Cone = 17g sugar
  • 1 Dairy Queen Child’s Chocolate Cone with Rainbow Sprinkles = 22g sugar
  • 1 Dairy Queen Child’s Chocolate Cone with Oreo Pieces = 28g sugar
  • 1 apple fritter at Starbucks = 27g sugar
  • 1 12-ounce can of 7UP = 25g sugar
  • 6 Oreo Cookies = 28g sugar
  • 1 Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked Chocolate Chunk Dark Chocolate Brownie = 13g sugar
  • 1 16-ounce bottle of Nesquik chocolate milk = 58g
  • 1 McDonald’s Hot Caramel Sundae = 44g sugar

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