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Chocolate Milk: 'The Official Drink of Halloween'

Nutrition Experts Applaud This Good-For-You Treat in Disguise

CHICAGO, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Let's face it, treats are at the heart of the Halloween fun. But it's easy for moms to make Halloween a little healthier without being booed by the kids. Nutrition experts recommend a treat that won't haunt anyone's health: chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk is a healthy treat in disguise. This Official Drink of Halloween has the chocolaty taste that witches, ghosts and superheroes adore, but behind its tasty chocolaty costume, chocolate milk is packed with calcium and other essential nutrients that growing kids need at Halloween or any time of year.

"Lowfat chocolate milk is one of those rare treats that kids love and moms can feel good about," said registered dietitian and mother-of-two Liz Weiss, co-author of The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers. "It's a nutrient-packed form of chocolate that always seems to satisfy. Plus, chocolate milk is such a better alternative than sugar-filled sodas and fruit drinks that contain little or no nutrients."

In fact, chocolate milk may be one answer to help curb the excessive consumption of nutrient-void soft drinks, which some experts say is a major contributor to childhood obesity in this country. Studies have shown that kids who drink flavored milk tend to drink fewer sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks, which are the No. 1 source of calories and added sugars in a child's diet. (1),(2)

Children ages 9 and up who consume more milk -- including chocolate milk -- instead of soft drinks not only have nutritionally superior diets, but they also tend to weigh less than kids who drink more sugary sodas and little milk, according to recent research. (3),(4)

"Moms may not realize that chocolate milk is just as nutritious as white milk," Weiss said. "Flavored milks provide the same nine essential nutrients and benefits as unflavored milks; the main difference is the added sugar, but the amount is significantly less than what you'd find in soft drinks -- and if it helps kids get their milk, that's a good thing."

In a recent study of American beverage consumption called "What America Drinks," flavored milks contributed less than 2 percent of the added sugar in the American diet, while soft drinks accounted for more then one third of the total added sugar.

An 8-ounce serving of lowfat chocolate milk provides 300 milligrams of calcium -- or 30% of the Daily Value for this vital bone-building nutrient -- along with vitamin D, protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B 12, riboflavin, niacin and phosphorus.

What American Kids Do Drink

Children are still missing the mark when it comes to milk drinking, with sweetened beverages crowding out milk in the diet. According to "What America Drinks," young kids fell short of the milk they need. In fact, kids drank the same amount of sweetened beverages each day as they did milk -- an average of about 11 ounces of each. By the teenage years, kids drank up to three times as much sweetened beverages as they did milk.

"What America Drinks" also found that milk is a child's primary source of calcium, magnesium and potassium -- three of five "nutrients of concern" for children identified in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Two out of three kids today fail to get the calcium they need, but studies show that kids who drink flavored milk like chocolate milk have higher calcium intakes than kids who don't. (1)

The calcium and vitamin D in chocolate milk is great for moms who want to treat themselves to a little bone-building boost, too.

Treats That Do the Trick

Whether served alone, dressed up for a costume party or as a featured ingredient in a recipe, lowfat chocolate milk can make a delicious addition to this year's Halloween fun. Weiss offers these tips for serving lowfat chocolate milk to keep little werewolves howling happily at Halloween and beyond:

-- Take black paper napkins and fashion them into mini vampire capes to

dress up kids' chocolate milk glasses or single-serve plastic bottles.

Use a rubber band or ribbon to fasten the capes to the glass or bottle.

-- Turn an everyday pitcher of chocolate milk into a witch's broomstick by

surrounding it with pieces of straw and hay at your Halloween party.

Tie it all together with twine at the narrow part of the pitcher and

start pouring out the fun.

-- If there's a chill in the air, serve your chocolate milk warm with

marshmallows following a night of trick-or-treating. Surprise kids

with fun and festive Halloween cups and mugs purchased from a local

party supply store -- top it off with seasonal straws or curly sippers.

-- For a refreshing treat, create Halloween-themed chocolate milk chill

pops. Simply pour lowfat chocolate milk in ghost-shaped ice trays (or

in regular ice trays). Place a popsicle stick into the trays before

freezing to create a cool and convenient lowfat chocolate milk ice pop.

Official Drink of Halloween: Coming to a Spooktacular Event Near You

Throughout October, Chocolate Milk: The Official Drink of Halloween will appear at monster Halloween happenings in 25 cities across the nation.

There, visitors can take a souvenir chocolate Milk Mustache photo and score other got milk? goodies, sample delicious lowfat and fat free chocolate milk and speak with a registered dietitian who can help show how nutrient-rich beverages, like milk, can be a part of a healthy diet.

Halloween Recipes, Tips and Fun

For recipes and tips on making chocolate milk the Official Drink of Halloween, visit Throughout October, visitors also will be able to create their own Halloween eCards and upload photos to design their own chocolate milk mustache.

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For more information, go to The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups.

(1) Johnson RK, Frary C, Wang MQ. The nutritional consequences of flavored

milk consumption by school-aged children and adolescents in the United

States. Journal of the American Dietetic Association.


(2) Murphy M, Douglass J, Latulippee M, Marr S, Johnson R, Frye C.

Beverages as a source of energy and nutrients in diets of children and

adolescents. The FASEB Journal 2005;A434,275.4.

(3) Frary CD, Johnson RK, Wang MQ. Children and adolescents' choices of

foods and beverages high in added sugars are associated with intakes

of key nutrients and food groups. Journal of Adolescent Health.


(4) Douglass J, Murphy M, Barr S, Johnson R, Frye C. Associations between

patterns of beverage consumption and nutrient intakes and BMI in the

U.S. FASEB Journal; 2007: A833.5.

SOURCE Milk Processor Education Program
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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