Nutrition in Disguise

 By Mary Nicholson

It’s here!  Time for the Big Pumpkin!  Is your pumpkin patch sincere?  Just in case this doesn’t make any sense, you might tune in to “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (8:00 pm ET on ABC).  Making its debut in 1966, this special features the Peanuts gang getting ready to celebrate Halloween. Linus is sure this time the Great Pumpkin will rise from his pumpkin patch, while Charlie Brown and the rest of the crew go trick or treating.

If you’ve been down the dairy aisle at your local grocery store during the last couple of weeks, you may have seen some of the Peanuts gang showing off their own chocolate milk mustaches.  You know, of course, that chocolate milk is the official drink of Halloween, don’t you?  Just as  trick-or-treaters venture out in disguise, chocolate milk is nutrition in disguise!  Who knew 9 essential nutrients could taste so good?

Chocolate milk has all the goodness of white milk.  Oh sure, we all know milk has calcium for strong bones and teeth, but what are those other eight nutrients?  Milk is fortified with Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb the calcium; you might say they are a dynamic duo, a powerful pair, a terrific twosome, and so on.  The protein in milk is high quality, and it help build and repair muscles.  You’ll need strong muscles to carry all that trick-or-treat loot!  There’s also Vitamin A, important for vision and skin, not to mention keeping your immune system strong.  Vitamin B12 serves as an oxygen transporter, and riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps convert food into energy.  That’s very important when exercising those muscles!

Potassium is an important component of milk.  It helps regulate fluid balance and maintain normal blood pressure.  And let’s not forget niacin, another B vitamin.  It’s important for energy metabolism and a healthy nervous system.  And you certainly want your nerves to be healthy when ghosts and goblins are around!  Last but not least, milk is an excellent source of phosphorous, is needed for energy metabolism and it helps to strengthen bones and teeth.

For the seventh year in a row, low-fat chocolate milk is the “official” beverage of Halloween.  It’s a treat with no tricks!

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