Science okays lattes for high school students

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has added espresso to its list of approved beverages for its new nutrition standard for high schools. The science-based school standards, named Smart Snacks, include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy while reducing fats, sodium and sugars. An espresso-based milk beverage was approved as a Smart Snack for high schools because it combines two allowable beverages (espresso and milk) and meets the USDA beverage calorie and size restrictions. As part of the program, espresso machine manufacturer, Franke, is collaborating with the US National Dairy Council to encourage the consumption of low-fat and fat-free milk options at à la carte cafés in American high schools. “According to a recent USDA report, 9 out 10 teen girls and 7 out of 10 teen boys aren’t getting the calcium they need,” said Terry Hoelle, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, of Franke, in a statement. “Specialty espresso beverages give teens an option that includes milk, keeps them on campus, and can help turn those numbers around.” The cafés will provide beverages made with low-fat or fat-free milk, regular and caffeine-free espresso beans, and sugar-free syrup. The standard restricts the amount of milk and coffee that can be served. Espressos are allowed because they meet the beverage calorie restriction of less than 5 calories per fluid ounce, up to 12 fluid ounces. Out of that 12-ounce beverage, espresso typically accounts for 1 to 2 fluid ounces, with the main ingredient being milk. “National Dairy Council has been committed to fostering a healthier nation for nearly 100 years and is pleased to work with Franke on the new à la carte cafes,” said Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, president of National Dairy Council, in a statement. “Teens are missing out on important nutrients provided by milk and other dairy products, and the new milk and espresso beverage gives them another option to help meet their daily dairy group servings.”

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