Brownes have recently released a flavoured milk range with NO ADDED SUGAR! You might have seen the ads on TV with the little boy pouring the milk all over the kitchen table (on a side note, I find the marketing here particularly curious. Surely no parent in their right mind wants their toddler handling a full 2 litre container of milk. I struggle not to spill when pouring a full bottle and I have relatively good motor skills! I just don't see how this make anyone want to buy the product?!) Anyway, back to the sugar free thing. Surely it's too good to be true? Let's take a closer look at Brownes Dairy A Hint Of Chocolate Milk.
🔹Milk, cocoa (0.75%), natural flavours
🔹No further details on the 'natural flavours' but I'm guessing it's some kind of chocolate essence. The package does state that it's free from 'fake colours and flavours, preservatives and artificial sweeteners'.
🔹Common allergens include: milk
🔹No added sugar. This is a big one, considering that most flavoured milk has quite a bit of added sugar. For example, Choc Chill has double the sugar content, and Master's Choc Milk is similar. This product fits within the healthy drinks guideline. (Just note that any milk will contain lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar. This is not something you need to be worried about.)
🔹Good source of calcium for strong bones, at 120mg/100ml. One cup of this milk meets 60% of a toddler's calcium requirements and 43% of an older child's calcium requirements.
🔹Total fat content within healthy guidelines.
🔹It's delicious 😋I was pleasantly surprised by the taste, especially as it's only cocoa as the main source of chocolate!
🔹Saturated fat content exceeds nutritional guidelines for drinks at 2.2g per 100ml. Recommendations suggest aiming for less than 1.5g of saturated fat per 100ml. The reason that this exceeds guidelines, is because it uses full cream milk rather than reduced fat or HiLo milk. This is appropriate for under two year olds, but I prefer to recommend HiLo milk for older kids.
🔹'No added sugar and no nasties.' This product really cashes in on the 'sugar fear' that I'm seeing on a daily basis. Parents are terrified of their kids eating sugar, because they've been told all sorts of outrageous things about what sugar does. Don't get me started on the one where sugar lights up your brain like cocaine does...ugh. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for sugar-laden foods, but I truly believe that the hype around sugar is WAY out of control.
🔹'No fake colours or flavours.' This isn't a claim that is regulated, so I'm not sure if the manufacturers are using 'fake' to be cute, or to mislead. It doesn't help that they don't state what the natural flavour actually is.
🔹'Fresh WA milk' 👏🏼👏🏼
🔹I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and nutritional profile of this milk. I think it's a great product. The only way to make it better in my eyes would be to use reduced fat milk.
🔹It does also comes in vanilla, strawberry and banana flavours. Just keep in mind that it does taste sweeter than regular milk, so make sure to offer regular milk most of the time.
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia, from which they offer home visits, in-clinic appointments and group sessions. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page. You can also email them.