(Don’t) Think Pink

by Leighann on March 4, 2011

We get our milk delivered by Oberweis every week. It’s kind of like the milk fairy: We put out our cooler box before bedtime and magically it’s filled with milk, and sometimes cottage cheese, cheese, eggs, guacamole, blue corn tortilla chips, and quiche. Really.

Our kids drink A LOT of milk, so it’s worth it to me to have home delivery of hormone-free milk brought to us in eco-friendly glass bottles, which are returned, cleaned, and reused. I don’t like lugging that much milk home from the store. Win-win.

I was recently appalled when I sat with Q at school at lunchtime and noticed how many kids had pink or chocolate milk and how many had white. (Q always gets white, except for two or three times a year when I let her have flavored milk as a treat.) I looked at the adjacent child’s carton and was shocked by the sugar content. Shocked.

Once in a while Oberweis throws a free product sample in our cooler. This time it was strawberry milk. Note first that there are actually no strawberries in strawberry milk. Note that the second ingredient is sugar. Now look at the total carbs.

FIFTY-TWO CARBS. 52. For. One. Bottle.

That’s the equivalent of 13 teaspoons of sugar per bottle. For one serving.

Am I the only one that thinks that is crazy? I don’t even want my non-diabetic child having that much sugar in a bottle. How can kids possibly concentrate after lunch time with that much sugar coursing through their blood stream?

So, do you want to know how many kids at a table of 46 were drinking white milk?

Three. Two had the school’s white milk, Q included. And one child had a carton of Horizon organic milk that she brought in her lunchbox. The other 43 children had either chocolate or pink milk.

The pink milk at school has 28 carbs per carton.

That’s the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of sugar per carton.


I wonder if parents even realize that their kids are having this at lunch every day. I seriously doubt they would pour seven teaspoons of sugar in a bowl and let their child eat it with a spoon.

When I was a child, we had white milk every day and chocolate was only served on Fridays. I think schools should get back to serving healthier lunch fair and help kids get into good eating habits.

Once a week flavored milk would help children realize that it is a treat to be consumed in moderation.

Not something they should drink every single day.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristin Dubois March 4, 2011 at 6:12 am

with most schools removing soda machines from school, you would think they would look at all sources of excess sugar..clearly, they are not..I do have to admit that my daughter has milk with ovaltine in it ever morning with her breakfast..and she has since she’s been 2..however, 4 tablespoons of the stuff has 15g carbs, and we cut that in half..so with 1 cup of milk we add 2 tablespoons..total equals 20g of carbs..do-able in my mind..50+ carbs in one serving for milk..outrageous!


2 Lorraine March 4, 2011 at 9:06 am

I, and Jaime ;), agree whole heartedly. Frankly, it’s appalling.


3 Scott S March 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

That’s really something; 54 grams of carbs, all of which are listed as sugar. Also of note: Nesquick strawberry flavoring has just 15 grams, all of which are sugar for a single serving (2 tsp. added to 8 oz. of milk), but still far less than this soda equivalent which also has fat.


4 Josie March 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Wow. I also think 7g of fat is a lot. Dean’s Strawberry Milk has 2.5g of fat, 33 total grams of carbs, but 12 of that would be the milk (leaving 21 grams of sugar). That’s still a lot of carbs, but better. We buy it in a half gallon, and combine it half/half with skim milk (full strength is sooo sweet), making it 23g… as a treat.


5 Suzanne April 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

There is a very interesting article in the New York Times from April 12 by Gary Taubes, “Is Sugar Toxic”. The article is long, but stick with it because there is a lot of food for thought, including information about different types of sugar and the effects they have on our bodies. While I am not ready to completely give up sugar, there certainly seems to be an alarming amount of evidence that the increase in sugar consumption as a society over the years has been wreaking havoc on our health, but not only causing obesity and T2DM, but perhaps heart disease and cancer as well.


6 Leighann April 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Funny you should mention that article. I literally bookmarked it this morning to come back to read!

Thanks for the comment 🙂


7 Katie July 10, 2012 at 10:43 am

Hi Leighann- My family and I were at the last FFL conference too and I am, just now, finding the time to read some of the blogs from the other parents. I too am appalled at the amount of “garbage” that kids put in their mouths these days. Sometimes I think D is a blessing in disguise- would I have looked so closely at the labels had my son not been diagnosed? I really don’t know. Joey (dx 05/09, now 11) has always been the only white milk drinker at his table, by his own choice. Also, lucky for us, we found that he vomits when he drinks strawberry milk. I’m pretty sure it is the food coloring. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded comment! I look forward to continue reading your blog 🙂


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