The night will soon be filled with little ghosts and goblins trick-or-treating from house to house for some spooky sweet treats during Halloween.  One thing that parents don’t have to be afraid of is giving them a glass of chocolate milk before they go out.   

1. It’s Nutrition in Disguise – Chocolate milk, like white milk, has 13 essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium–nutrients that research shows up to 50 percent of children in the U.S. are not consuming enough of daily.  Giving them a glass of milk before they go out gives you the peace of mind that you’re helping your child meet their daily nutritional requirements. Especially since studies show 9 out of 10 girls and 7 out of 10 boys aren’t getting the calcium they need for strong bones and healthy bodies. 

2. It Gives Them Needed Protein – A glass of chocolate milk provides 8 ounces of high-quality protein. Your child would have to eat more than 3 cups of broccoli to get the same amount of protein.  Protein from milk is considered “complete” because they have a combination of essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own.  Protein gives your body much needed energy and helps to rebuild after a long night of trick-or-treating.

3. It Has Less Sugar Than Juices – Those drink boxes we often give our kids are higher in sugar and don’t pack the nutrients compared to chocolate milk.  A fruit punch juice box, for example, has nearly 7 teaspoons of added sugar, chocolate milk has 3.  Soda has nearly 8 teaspoons of added sugar. On a night that’s known for sweets, giving your child chocolate milk before they go out could help to reduce the urge to eat as much candy. 

4. It Keeps them Hydrated – Milk is comprised mostly of water but unlike water it has the added benefit of providing important and needed vitamins and nutrients.  In addition, milk also has electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein, each of which plays an important role in hydration. Electrolytes are lost in perspiration, exhalation, and urination. The two main electrolytes lost in sweat are sodium and potassium, which are naturally occurring in milk. 

5. It Nourishes Their Immune System – Some research shows that having healthy levels of vitamin D can help keep your immune system healthy and can protect you against respiratory diseases in general. 

Consuming foods like milk that are high in Vitamin D and other immune supporting nutrients and fermented foods like yogurt and kefir, can promote a healthy gut and immune system. 

No matter what your child wants to dress up as this Halloween, make drinking the official drink of Halloween part of the activities along with carving a pumpkin and decorating the front yard. On behalf of Connecticut’s dairy farmers, we wish you a very safe and happy Halloween.