Sunday, April 10, 2011

Colored Cows and Flavored Milk

Do the brown cows give chocolate milk? That's the question I often receive when I speak to children about dairy farming and the kind of milk our Holstein cows produce. This original question about chocolate milk does have a serious side and provides opportunity to talk about the benefits of flavored milk.

Flavored milk, just like unflavored milk, offers the same nutrient rich package with the nine essential nutrients that includes calcium,potassium,phosphorus,protein,vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents). Besides tasting great, flavored milk increases children's enjoyment and consumption of milk and is often acceptable to children who might not drink unflavored milk. This is an important point because seventy percent of children ages 9-19 do not meet their recommended dairy intake. Even though flavored milk does contain natural and added sugar, it is less than what is found in carbonated soft drinks. On average, an eight ounce low-fat flavored milk has around 4 teaspoons of added sugar while a can of soda has about 9 teaspoons and fruit punch about 6 teaspoons.

According to the National Dairy Council (, every eight ounce serving of flavored milk gives kids:

  • 30% of the Daily Value for calcium

  • 25% of the Daily Value for vitamin D

  • 24% of the Daily Value for riboflavin

  • 10% or more of the Daily Value for Vitamin A,vitamin B12,niacin,phosphorus,potassium,protein, and other nutrients

  • 8% of the Daily Value for magnesium

Even though I have never been asked what color cow produces strawberry,banana,or orange flavored milk, I can just imagine red,yellow, and orange spotted cows. I also wonder what color cow would give cotton candy flavored milk. Just think what a pretty picture all those colored cows would make out in the pasture!

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