I often hear parents concerns regarding chocolate (or flavoured) milk. This can range from there being too much sugar to the concern the child will only consume chocolate milk if given the opportunity. This is a global concern – in the United States, many schools have removed chocolate milk from their options in their cafeterias, which used to be a staple beverage.
While it is true there is more sugar in chocolate milk than regular milk, and it is often enjoyed by many people, including children, I think many parents get stuck in the black and white belief of food being either “good” or “bad.” By focusing on labeling and categorizing every food, the foundational importance that food has for people is forgotten and the enjoyment is often lost by the consumer.
Think about if you have a choice between baked chicken and fried chicken – do you have a preference? Or, do you prefer one over the other due to health reasons or other beliefs?
Children are able to choose the foods they eat because they need certain nutrients to grow properly and because they enjoy them. We learn to eat because it is good for us, its foods we should eat, it is time to eat, it’s a warm or cooling food, or whatever other reason you may have learned growing up.
The next time you eat, think about why you are eating the food you are eating and the amount. Is it physiologically based or psychologically. I’d love to hear what you come up with.