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A tasty treat for breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up, chocolate milk offers some nutritional benefits that drinks with empty calories don’t. Plus, it offers some nostalgia from childhood! So grab a glass and get ready to celebrate National Chocolate Milk Day!

History of National Chocolate Milk Day

Of course, the history of chocolate milk is inextricably tied to the discovery of chocolate. It is believed that hot beverages made from chocolate have been enjoyed for around 4000 years. The Olmec people in ancient Mesoamerica (present day Mexico) used drinking chocolate for medical purposes and people have also used it for religious purposes over history.

While it is likely that someone thought to mix chocolate with milk earlier in history, it’s not recorded until the late 1600s. This record indicates that an Irish botanist who was living in Jamaica at the time was the person who first made chocolate milk.

The story goes that when the Jamaicans first gave Hans Sloane the drink, he was unimpressed with its flavor. So instead of making it with water, he made it with milk, which made the taste more tolerable. After taking the mixture of chocolate milk back to Europe, it was then sold as a medicinal substance by apothecaries for some time.

When the Hershey’s company began producing chocolate syrup in the early 1920s, and then made it commercially available to the public, it made drinking chocolate milk an option at restaurants and households.

Chocolate milk became even easier to make when the Nestle company introduced Nesquik chocolate milk powder in the US in the late 1940s and later in Europe in the 1950s. Now, it comes pre-made by many dairy companies as well as from brands that offer non-dairy, plant-based options for those who love chocolate milk.

National Chocolate Milk Day is just the right time to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life, including the delicious simplicity of a glass of chocolate milk.

National Chocolate Milk Day Timeline

Late 1600s

Chocolate Milk is invented 

Hans Sloane, an Irish Botanist, is given cocoa to drink in Jamaica but he chooses to make it with milk instead.[1]

1700s

Chocolate Milk is released as medicine 

When Sloane returns to Ireland, he sells the mixture of cocoa and milk as medicinal.[2]

Early 1900s

Cadbury creates drinking chocolate 

The brothers behind the Cadbury company market drinking chocolate in a tin.[3]

1926

Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is invented 

Hershey’s syrup is first produced for commercial use.[4]

1948

Chocolate Milk Powder is created 

Nesquik makes it easy to drink chocolate milk at home with chocolate powder.[5]

How to Celebrate National Chocolate Milk Day

A delightfully simple day, National Chocolate Milk Day is meant to honor and revere everything about this tasty and satisfying beverage. Consider implementing some of these ways to enjoy National Chocolate Milk Day:

Drink a Glass of Chocolate Milk

Of course, the best way to celebrate this day is to pour a tall glass of chocolate milk and drink it right up! Have it on its own or with a stack of cookies. While drinking it, don’t forget to make a delightful milk mustache and take a picture or a selfie. It’s a fun way to raise awareness for and promote the day on social media!

Learn About the Health Benefits of Chocolate Milk 

When compared to other sweet drinks, like sodas, chocolate milk stands up with more nutritional value that those drinks that are filled with empty calories. It still has quite a bit in the way of carbs and fat, but these can be minimized by drinking a low-fat, less sweet version.

Here are some of the health benefits that can be found in a glass of chocolate milk:

  • Protein

    Many athletes like to drink chocolate milk as a source of protein for muscle repair and acting as building blocks. Milk is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.

  • Skeletal Health

    Calcium is good for the bones and teeth, and milk contains this essential nutrient. And when milk is fortified with Vitamin D, which many brands of milk in the US are, it’s even more effective for the body to take advantage of the health benefits.

  • Workout Recovery

    Many athletes find that drinking chocolate milk after a workout helps to restore sugars, fluids and electrolytes that are lost during exercise.

Hold a Chocolate Milk Taste Test

Not sure which chocolate milk is the best? Naturally, National Chocolate Milk Day is a great time to hold a blind taste test to determine which version is the best. Several companies make chocolate milk out, so try out something from a local dairy or choose one of these brands:

  • Trader Joe’s Chocolate Milk. Sold in half gallon cardboard cartons, this chocolate milk is smooth and consistent in its taste, and it is very affordable. Plus, it is made with fair trade cocoa so everyone can feel good about drinking it! 
  • Horizon Organic High Protein Chocolate Milk. This one is delicious and it also has a reduced fat option, making it even healthier. 
  • Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink. Okay, so it’s not technically chocolate milk at all because it isn’t made from dairy. But for folks who have dairy allergies or sensitivities, this can be really good news because it tastes great. Pro tip: Yoo-hoo is best when it is served very cold! 
  • Fairlife Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk. With extra protein, this one is also ultra-filtered, offering a thick and silky smooth taste in the mouth. In addition, it has about half of the sugar, more protein and more calcium than regular chocolate milk. 

Try Making Vegan Chocolate “Milk”

Whether it has to do with being vegan for health purposes, for environmental reasons, or simply related to a dairy allergy, making chocolate milk from a plant alternative is a super way to celebrate National Chocolate Milk Day! Try out some of these plant based, vegan milks mixed with chocolate:

  • Almond Milk. Low in protein and calories, almond milk may not be as good as a substitute for children–also watch for added sugar in some of the flavored varieties. 
  • Oat Milk. This one has the most calories and carbs of any of the plant milks, but it has a creamy flavor that is great for drinks. It’s not suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. 
  • Soy Milk. The most nutritionally balanced of all of the plant based milk alternatives, soy milk is close to cow’s milk but is also a common allergen for many people. 
  • Rice Milk. People who have nut, soy or dairy sensitivities can enjoy rice milk, but be aware that it is filled with carbs so it’s good for active people prior to exercise.

National Chocolate Milk Day FAQs

Is chocolate milk good for you?

Chocolate milk does have some nutrients that are healthy for the body, so it’s healthier than soda. But it also contains a lot of added sugar and calories so it might be better to get those nutrients in another way.[1]

How to make chocolate milk?

Making chocolate milk can be easy./ Just fill a glass with milk and add chocolate syrup or chocolate drink mix. Stir and enjoy!

Can chocolate milk make you gain weight?

Chocolate milk, especially made from whole milk, is filled with calories and can cause weight gain.[2]

When did chocolate milk come out? 

Chocolate milk seems to have been invented in the late 1600s by an Irish scientist who was living in Jamaica.[3]

Does chocolate milk have caffeine?

Chocolate milk does have a small amount of caffeine, about 2 milligrams in an 8 ounce serving.[4]

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