USDA to potentially remove flavored milk from K-8 schools

The USDA is considering removing flavored milk, including chocolate milk, from K-8 schools.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 3:59 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The USDA is finalizing new rules for the 2024-25 school year that limit added sugars in school meals.

“Flavored milk is something that’s on the table as something being cut from the National School Lunch Program,” said Travis Austin, director of food services for Cabell County Schools.

It’s his job to make sure school lunches stay up to nutritional standards. Austin says the debate of chocolate milk or no chocolate milk is a tricky topic.

“If it’s the flavor that gets the kids to the nutrients of the milk, and then just the added sugars,” Austin said. “That’s the debate, and it resurfaces every five or ten years it seems like.”

A decision has not been made final yet and won’t be made until next year. If it’s approved, it’s more than chocolate milk changes.

“They are looking at added sugars not only in milk, they’re looking at the cereals in the morning, the yogurt, the breakfast pastries. I think that’s a good idea, limiting the amount of added sugars can’t be a bad thing,” Austin said. “I’m not really too worried about what they’re going to do, at the end of the day they’re going to decide. It is what it is. Whatever they come up with, we’ll follow those guidelines and try to make the school breakfast and school lunch as appealing as possible.”