A bill in the Connecticut legislature would ban home childcare providers and daycare centers from serving 2% or whole milk to children.
Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes, “Setting aside for a moment the sheer lunacy of the proposed law’s premise, I’d like to point out that it’s also based on an incredibly faulty understanding of nutrition.”
“Commercial whole milk…is a lot closer to cow’s milk in its natural state. No oxidized cholesterol, no need to dye it back to a natural-looking color or add synthetic vitamins. Yes, it has nearly double the calories of nonfat milk—150 per cup, compared to about 80 calories in a cup of skim. But calories aren’t everything. Whole milk is richer in protein and fats, which promote satiety and fullness, and feeling full and satisfied longer makes people (including kids) less likely to overeat later….So in addition to infringing on personal liberty, the Connecticut bill—‘An Act Concerning Nutrition Standards for Child Care Settings’—is based more on some legislator’s harebrained idea of how nutrition and diet work than any actual nutrition or dietary science.”
As a new mother, I find it unacceptable that lawmakers would try to mandate that my son consume what I would interpret as less healthy food. As a lover of liberty, it is even more unacceptable that parents would not be able to have a say in what their children eat or drink or the nutritional aspects of their childcare facility. For example, if I wanted my child to have only organic food, I should have that choice because I believe it’s best. If I believe that whole milk is best, I should be able to choose a childcare facility that can accommodate that.
I hope Connecticut parents stand up for their right to choose their own children’s diet. It’s not up to state legislators to make those decisions for parents.
Sarah Wolf is Communications Coordinator for Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market think tank.