Earlier in the year we put up a brief entitled, "Is the U.S. School System Forcing Milk on Children?" Due to the prior policies of the national school lunch program, in many areas parents had to get a note from a doctor to "excuse" their children from taking milk. This didn't leave many options for those kids who chose not to consume milk for any reason that wasn't directly related to a milk allergy or intolerance, and it left those kids who didn't take milk without another option. However, thanks to a new policy just passed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, soymilk will be an option. Of course, a parent or legal guardian must request, in writing, that the school serves their children (if enrolled in the national school breakfast and lunch program) soymilk rather than dairy milk. But, it's a step, right? …
As stated in their press release:
"This change caters to the growing diversity of participants in the School Nutrition Programs and allows children with lactose intolerance, dairy allergies or cultural diet restrictions to have an alternative source of calcium at school mealtime.
Just like cow's milk, fortified soymilk helps build strong bones with calcium and vitamin D and contains vitamin A, iron and heart healthy soy protein. Fortified soymilk is also cholesterol-free and has lower amounts of saturated fat and fewer calories than milk–making it a very healthy option for kids."
They add that parents and guardians interested in participating in the new "soymilk policy" should contact the food service program at their child's school.