How does flavored milk differ from unflavored milk?

The only difference is the addition of flavorings and minimal amounts of sugar. Both unflavored and flavored milk provide the same nine essential nutrients. Cow’s milk delivers a protein win and contains a higher quality protein which the body is better able to absorb. Superior quality dairy protein ensures muscle health, which is critical through all stages of life.

 

Are flavored milks a good choice for kids?

Yes, flavored milks have their place in a well-balanced diet. They provide the same nine essential nutrients as white milk and dairy health facts gathered from research* shows that children who drink flavored milk have higher total milk intakes compared to those who drink exclusively white milk. This same research shows that milk drinkers – both white and flavored – do not have higher BMIs compared to non-milk drinkers. *Murphy, M.M., J.S. Douglass, R.K. Johnson, et al J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 108: 631, 2008. Flavored milks are also a fun way to get some kids interested in milk who might not enjoy white milk. It ensures that they get those necessary nutrients in dairy.

 

Does flavored milk contain more sugar than a soft drink?

When comparing milk to other beverages for sugar content, it is important to look at added sugars since all milk contains some natural sugar, called lactose. And because each manufacturer has a unique formula, added sugar content may vary among flavored milk products. On average, an 8-ounce serving of low-fat chocolate milk contains about four teaspoons of added sugar, while an equivalent amount of a soft drink contains seven teaspoons. Plus, milk delivers more nutrition than soft drinks. Unlike soft drinks and fruit drinks, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines does not list flavored milk as a sugar-sweetened beverage. And in fact, the Dietary Guidelines recommends added sugars to increase the palatability of nutrient-dense foods, as in the case of fat-free chocolate milk.