What's your favorite flavor of milk? Is it French vanilla, caramel, the ever-popular chocolate or one of the many other flavors now available? Whatever flavor tickles your taste buds, read on to find out why this sweet treat is as good for you as it is delicious.

Just the Facts

  • Is flavored milk as nutritious as white milk?
    Yes, flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk. Flavored milk provides calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin and niacin. In comparison, beverages like soda and fruit drinks provide little more than calories and sugar.
  • Is flavored milk packed with sugar, which is associated with hyperactivity?
    A soda or fruit drink contain nearly twice as much sugar as flavored milk. Furthermore, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Food and Drug Administration have found no link between sugar and behavioral problems in children.
  • Is flavored milk high in fat and calories?
    Flavored milk comes in many varieties, including reduced fat, lowfat and fat free. For example, a 1 cup serving of lowfat flavored milk has only 2.5 grams of fat per serving, the exact amount as in white milk.
  • Does flavored milk cause cavities?
    The ingredients in chocolate milk are much less likely to cause cavities than soft drinks and sticky snack foods. Liquids such as flavored milk clear the mouth faster. Some studies suggest that the cocoa in chocolate milk may actually protect against cavities.
  • Is chocolate milk high in caffeine?
    No. The amount of caffeine in chocolate milk is similar to the amount found in decaffeinated drinks. An 8-ounce serving of chocolate milk contains between 2 mg and 7 mg of caffeine. Cola, on the other hand, may contain up to 10 times more caffeine than chocolate milk. According to recent evidence, the amount of caffeine in chocolate milk is too small to have a detrimental effect on a child's behavior.
  • Isn't flavored milk just for kids?
    Absolutely not! Flavored milk is a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth while increasing your intake of calcium and eight other essential nutrients.

What's the buzz on flavored milk? Research from the University of Vermont published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association confirms that flavored milk is a healthy beverage choice for kids and adults. The study evaluated data from USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals to determine the typical beverage intake of nearly 4,000 children and adolescents, ages 5-17. Here's what it found:

  • Results showed that children who drink flavored milk consume fewer nutrient-void soft drinks and fruit drinks (those containing less than 10 percent fruit juice) than children who don't drink flavored milk.
  • The study also found that children who consume chocolate or other flavored milk have higher calcium intakes in comparison with children who do not consume flavored milk.
  • Children who consume flavored milk did not have higher intakes of added sugars or total fat in their overall diet in comparison with children who do not consume flavored milk.
  • Children who consume flavored milk had higher total milk intakes when compared to non-consumers of flavored milk.
  • Previous research indicates that children and adolescents who are high consumers of soft drinks have lower intakes of riboflavin, folate, vitamins A and C, calcium and phosphorous.