WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Of the nearly 40,000 school lunches sold each day in Forsyth County, 80 percent of children buying them choose chocolate milk as their drink of choice.
Some parents say for chocolate is the only milk their kids will drink. However, Dr. Don Martin, Superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, said he thinks cutting sugary chocolate milk would take unnecessary calories out of school lunches.
“Look on the package and look at sugar grams and do 180 days. It’s about 60 grams of sugar,” Martin said.
As schools brainstorm ways to cut lunchtime calories in preparation for new federal guidelines next year, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines is introducing his newest initiative -- a website prevention program geared toward kids and making them healthier.
Joines said more than 30 percent of children in Winston-Salem are obese.
“We just owe it to these young people to help them maybe change your lifestyle a little bit because going forward they are going to have immense problems medically and be a big cost to the community,” Joines said.
The Isle of Smiles website is filled with parental information, nutritional facts, and instructional videos and videogames. The site is being promoted through PE classes and on school lunch menus.
But not all adults think cutting chocolate out of the picture is a good idea.
“I think chocolate milk is better than no milk at all,” parent David Brann said.
“Definitely find some other alternatives... Don't just cut it out completely,” parent Otis Robinson said.