Los Angeles Unified School District Bans Chocolate and Strawberry Milk

07:17PM Jun 15, 2011
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School board also approves adding more vegetarian entrees to student menus.

One of the nation’s largest school districts, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), on Tuesday directed its Food Services Division to stop buying chocolate- and strawberry flavored milk.
As a result, flavored milk will no longer be offered to students in the LAUSD when schools resume operation in August and September. All milk served in LAUSD is low fat or nonfat.
The directive by Superintendent John Deasy came after a 5-2 majority vote earlier in the day by the Los Angeles Board of Education to approve a new dairy contract for the 2011-2012 school year.
A LAUSD news release said chocolate- and strawberry- flavored milk contain added sugar, unlike unflavored white milk.
“Encouraging healthy choices will lead to healthier students,” Deasy said. “Eliminating chocolate milk and strawberry milk is good for all youngsters, and is especially beneficial during an era of rampant childhood obesity.”
Board member Tamar Galatzan cast a “no" vote, citing findings from the American Pediatrics Association and the American Heart Association that flavored milk is not excessively harmful to children.
Also expressing concerns, board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte voted “no.” 
On another food-related issue, Deasy supported broadening the vegetarian selections offered to LAUSD students.
“Providing more meatless entrees is another demonstration of this District’s commitment to good nutrition,” Deasy said.
To increase vegetarian breakfast and lunch options, the school board approved a five-year, $50 million contract requested by the LAUSD?s Food Services Division. The new menu items will be offered to students at the start of the 2011-12 traditional school calendar.
The new vegetarian entrées will include items such as spinach and cheese tortellini in a butternut squash sauce; vegetable ratatouille over whole grain penne; and a jambalaya with red beans, zucchini, onions and peppers in a Creole sauce served over rice.
During the traditional school year, LAUSD serves 650,000 meals per day.