Growing up, I was definitely a rule follower. Chocolate milk was my one rebellion. My mom always told me and my brother to buy plain milk in the cafeteria. And naturally, I followed her instructions. But one day, I was feeling a little wild. I reached the end of the line, my tray laden with macaroni casserole, and peered into the depths of the milk fridge. Before I could think twice, I grabbed that beautiful brown carton instead of the boring blue one. And let me tell you, it tasted delicious. Like freedom, and independence, and sweet, sweet sugar. So much better than plain milk. Which, apparently, is the problem.

The USDA is considering banning flavored milk in some schools.

A proposal currently being considered by the USDA would “allow flavored milk for high school children only (grades 9-12). This approach would reduce exposure to added sugars and would promote the more nutrient-dense choice of unflavored milk for young children when their tastes are being formed,” the proposal reads. Basically, this means no more chocolate milk (and strawberry milk) for elementary and middle school students. Which means my little chocolate milk rebellion would no longer be possible for Generation Alpha.

People have mixed thoughts.

Professionals have mixed opinions on this proposed milk ban. “From a public-health perspective, it makes a lot of sense to try to limit the servings of these flavored milks because they do have quite a lot of added sugar,” Erica Lauren Kennery, a public-health and nutrition professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, Katie Wilson, executive director of the Urban School Food Alliance, said "we want to take a product that most kids like and that has nine essential nutrients in it and say, ‘You can’t drink this. You have to drink plain…What are we trying to prove?"

Others have suggested compromise. The International Dairy Foods Association recently published a "Healthy School Milk Commitment," committing to “provide healthy, nutritious school milk options with no more than 10 grams of added sugar per 8 fluid ounce serving,” flavoring included. Essentially, the IDFA wants schools to offer a lower sugar chocolate milk option, rather than banning it altogether and forcing kids to drink bland white milk.

Of course, the IDFA might be slightly biased, given that they are made up of dairy producers. But if the goal is actually to get kids to drink milk, providing a more nutritious flavored option would be a good choice. If chocolate milk is no longer an option, many kids will likely skip milk altogether, and I don’t really blame them. Once you’ve had the good stuff, it’s hard to go back. Which, I suppose, is kind of the USDA’s point.

My tryst with chocolate milk only lasted a few weeks, before my guilt ridden conscience got the better of me. But in recent years, I’ve heard over and over about how chocolate milk is the perfect recovery drink for athletes. And even though I’m decidedly not an athlete, I am an adult and no one can tell me which milk to drink anymore. So I drink chocolate milk whenever I want, and I feel kind of sporty when I do it.

Honestly, it makes me kind of sad to think the kids of today might not get to experience their own chocolate milk rebellion. I’m hoping we can find a (slightly less) chocolatey compromise. According to the Wall Street Journal, a decision on flavored milk from the USDA is expected early next year and would take effect for the 2025-26 school year.