Connecticut lawmakers voted to ban chocolate milk from school lunchrooms statewide as they wrapped up their legislative session Wednesday, in a move that critics warned could change kids' lunchtime habits for the worse.
The legislation, which next heads to Gov. Malloy's desk, makes revisions to the education statutes in order to comply with new federal school lunch standards on sodium, which is found in chocolate milk.
Lonnie Burt, the chief nutritionist of Hartford Public Schools, has concerns about the impact this legislation will have on children’s nutrition. Chocolate milk provides calcium, Vitamin A, potassium and other nutrients, she said.
“What concerns me is that if chocolate milk is not one of the available options, then I believe students will decrease consumption of milk overall,” Burt said.
The American Heart Association seems to agree and said the nutritional value of milk, even flavored milk, outweighs concerns about the amount of sodium in diets.
At the Environmental Sciences Magnet School in Hartford, chocolate milk is popular, and students don’t like the idea of getting rid of it.
“Everyone likes it. The majority of the school wants it, and not many people like regular milk,” seventh-grader Maddy Lanzi said.