Lunchtime in L.A. just got a little less tasty.
With a 5-2 vote on Wednesday, Los Angeles Unified — the nation’s second largest school district — banned flavored milk in school lunches.
The new dairy contract was seen as a way to crack down on the amount of sugar kids take in each day as chocolate and strawberry milk drinks, which will be removed from the menu July 1, can contain as much as 20 grams of sugar per cup.
While the move was applauded by those seeking to crack down on childhood obesity, the question remains over whether school kids will choose to drink their milk straight up. Chocolate has long been thought of as the spoonful of sugar that helped the calcium and vitamin-rich drink go down and, according to the milk industry-backed Milk Processors Education Program, about 70% of all milk consumed in schools today is flavored.
(MORE: The War Over America’s Lunch)
But that stat didn’t seem to bother the five board members who voted in favor of the new contract. In fact, the behemoth school district has been on board with the healthy school lunch initiative, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, for some time. In 2004, they banned sodas on their more than 1,000 campuses, starting the trend nationwide. Later that year they banned the sale of junk food. In 2005, they required that foods have less salt.
They will now turn their attention to overhauling the menu, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new menu is likely to contain fewer foods that resemble fast food meals and more vegetarian options. Breaded dishes such as kid-favorites, corn dogs and chicken nuggets will be nixed in favor of spinach tortellini in a butternut squash sauce and California sushi rolls.
The menu sounds good to us, but NewsFeed has never encountered a seven-year-old who had a taste for butternut squash or sushi.
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