No more chocolate milk?

The Connecticut General Assembly approved legislation that bans the serving of chocolate milk in Connecticut public schools.

Although Gov. Dannel Malloy has not yet reviewed the bill, according to the governor's director of communications, Andrew Doba, "the governor is not supportive of banning chocolate milk in public schools."

"While we must be extremely mindful of the nutritional value of what's offered to students, ensuring an appropriate array of options helps to ensure that kids receive the calcium and other nutrients they need," Mr. Doba stated in a May 16 press release.

Lawmakers approved the bill, otherwise known as Substitute House Bill No. 5566 or "An Act Concerning Minor Revisions to the Education Statutes," at the end of their legislative session on Wednesday, May 14. The bill would change nutritional drink standards in Connecticut public schools.

According to the bill, milk in public schools currently "may be flavored but cannot contain artificial sweeteners or more than four grams of sugar per ounce."

The standard for milk under the new bill would keep the existing artificial sweetener ban and sugar limit, but only allow low-fat or skimmed milk and ban non-nutritive sweetening agents, sugar alcohols and added sodium.

The bill also bans added sodium from nondairy milk substitutes, 100% fruit juice, water, and water with fruit or vegetable juice, all of which are existing "allowable beverages."

The bill also limits the portion sizes for drinks, other than water, for students in grades K-5. Currently, students in grades K-5 are allowed servings of up to 12 fl oz. The bill would reduce the portion size to 8 fl oz.