Skim vs. Fat Free Milk

Son: We’ll I guess I can’t have cereal this morning!

Me: Why would that be?

Son: Because we only have skim milk.

Me: So?

Son: I don’t like skim milk, I only like fat-free milk.

Me: It’s the exact same thing.

Son: No it’s not.

Me: Yes it is.

Son: No it isn’t.

Me: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that it’s the exact same thing.

Son: It’s not, it’s different.

Me: Would you like me to call the U.S. Department of Agriculture?

Son: Who is that?

Me: That’s not important, but I’m telling you its the same thing.

Son: No it’s not, it tastes different.

Me: It doesn’t taste different, what don’t you like about it?

Son: It’s disgusting!

That’s how most conversations about food end with him unless they are foods from the six major food groups that appeal to boys, which I discussed in an earlier post. Those being:

1.  Pasta Foods: such as Macaroni and Cheese, Spaghetti, etc.
2.  Canned Pasta Foods: such as Spaghetti-O’s, Chef Boyardee, etc.
3.  Tube Shaped Foods:  Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, etc.
4.  Nut and Jelly Foods:  Peanut Butter and Jelly, Jelly Donuts, etc.
5.  Foods with cool mascots: Cereals, Pop-Tarts, Kid-Cuisine Meals, etc.
6.  Foods that used to be chickens:  Nuggets, strips, etc.

We only drink skim milk at our house.  I call it gray milk, because it has that kind of grayish tinge. There are a few different grocery stores around us and some of them sell skim milk and some of them sell fat-free milk so depending on where we shop sometimes we have skim milk and sometimes we have fat-free milk.

My son won’t drink skim milk. He’ll only drink fat-free milk. Actually he doesn’t really drink that much milk but he uses it on cereal. In my superior knowledge of worldly things, I’m relatively confident that skim milk and fat-free milk are pretty much the same thing and that there really is no noticeable difference between the two. But he has it in his head that they are different. This is a recently discovered phenomenon so we think maybe he tasted some “skim milk” that was perhaps beginning to go bad at one time and now he thinks that there is a difference.

So I did a little research. The website makes it, as they say, “quite clear”!

You can read the whole article here if you want… or just read the conclusion which I have copied below.

Skim Milk and Fat Free Milk: Final Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is quite clear that skimmed milk which contains 0.5% fat, is known as fat-free milk. 1% milk is the low-fat milk. 1% and 2% milk can be considered as skim milk. Milk containing 0.5% fat is recognized as either fat-free milk or skim milk. Normally, one cup of skim milk or non-fat milk contains less than 0.5 gm of fat per cup. Skim milk (0.5% fat) and fat-free milk, being the same, do not portray any marked difference in their nutritional value. Fat free milk is just the new term for marketing skim milk which has negligible fat.

See how clear that was. I’m always right!


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61 responses to “Skim vs. Fat Free Milk

  1. I call it blue milk. There is not point what so ever in drinking it for taste. It’s fine on cereal but for coffee…2% please – or better yet Homo please – or better yet? French Dairy *insert Homer Simpson Drool here*

  2. Youngmomof3

    They changed the color of the milk cartons at Sunset last week. The skim (fat free, whatever) is now in a yellow carton instead of a pink one. You would have thought the world had ended. The kids were really thrown for a loop. We kept telling them, “It’s the same as the pink carton.” I’m guessing 90% of them put it back and took whole milk. Silly kids.

  3. “Food that used to be chickens” is my favorite. It’s incredible the number of things we can turn chickens into isn’t it? Those things are like little transformers. They’re the Autobots of the meat world. “Dad, what is this stuff?” Answer: “It’s CHICKEN!” Tonight we’ll have the usual braised monkey brains in goat snot, but they’ll eat it, because I’ll tell them it’s chicken!

  4. And i thought two year olds were a pain in the ass…

  5. bigsheepcommunications

    You are exactly right, however, the milk connoisseurs in my house have narrowed it down to specific brands. The fat-free/skim milk of choice is organic Stony Field Farms for those in the family who can tolerate real dairy at all (we’re absurdly challenged when it comes to dairy).

  6. I have to agree with your son 🙂 i do not like skimmed milk either.
    We used to use full cream milk and changed to semi skimmed, its far better.
    Buy him a small carton of semi when its finished fill it with skimmed, then see what heppens.

  7. I’m with your son…took me a long time to even like 2%….just tastes watered down to me. Have gotten used to it, but am not gonna even try 1%. I still like the good ole vitamin D with the red cap….lol

    • Yes, I understand people not liking skim milk and preferring 1% or 2% or as Harry called it “semi-skimmed”. But his deal is he is saying FAT FREE and SKIM are different. They’re not, they’re the exact same thing, just a different label!!

  8. Its semi-skimmed over here maybe thats why they are different, so why have two milks the seem with different lables then, go on, get out of that one, see you can’t 😆

  9. OK Mr Wizard, now explain the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive please

    • You are talking to someone who knows squat about cars, but who actually drives a truck that has 4WD capability. But isn’t it that on an all wheel drive car, all four wheels are always engaged as drive wheels, while a four wheel drive system can be changed back and forth. I don’t really know, but that’s my story…….

  10. Hysterical! Thanks for making me feel normal about my own son who only eats from those very same food groups. P.S. tubes shaped foods totally gross me out!!

  11. My daughter only drinks full cream milk. When we moved to Belgium I told her they only have green goats milk there as a joke – she chuckled so I left it at that – two days later I overheard her phone conversation with a friend (she was 13) – ” I don’t know how I’m going to survive – they only have green goats milk in Belgium.” LOL – they are so gullible. I go with giving him one brand in the other brand bottle – just to prove your point 🙂

  12. Have you tried Almond Milk? You can get that and soy milk in vanilla flavor, which adds a nice element to cereal. Plus, with almond, you get those beneficial Omega-3’s. Hazelnut milk: also good. I’ve even tried Hemp Milk, although for the life of me, I’ve no idea how you milk a hemp.

  13. Milk a hemp! ha, love it! I’m with Spectra, try soy or almond milk. My kids love Very Vanilla Silk soy milk. They think it tastes like a vanilla shake. I drink it all the time too (I have to admit, I think skim milk is blech!)

    How odd that my son eats the exact same things as yours. Hmm…

  14. I’m a huge fan of food that used to be chickens.

  15. This is hilarious — and absolutely you should try to trick your son to see if he can really tell the difference while hidden under his Lucky Charms cereal. 😉

    It’s like the Coke and Pepsi challenge.

    Please do this and report back.

  16. Margie

    In our part of the world, the flavour of the milk seems to change quite dramatically from season to season, and brand to brand. I expect it has something to do with what kind of pasture the cows are on. I just throw a teaspoon full of Quik into a cup of milk and the grandchildren will drink any kind of milk I put in front of them…

    • Hmmm… that’s interesting, I’ve never heard anyone say that, but I imagine there must be some truth to it. But you’re right, Nestle’s Quik fixes everything! Yum!!

      • Margie

        A heaping teaspoon of ‘less sugar’ Quik would add about 20 calories, 4 grams of sugar, and about 3% of the daily needs of 7 vitamins and minerals to the milk. (At least, that is what I understand from the label.) A can of coke has 39 grams of sugar and no redeeming qualities. A glass of orange juice has about 39 grams of sugar. A glass of milk has about 13 grams of sugar without the Quik. If Quik is what gets the grandchildren to choose milk over other beverages, then I say go for it!

  17. Good luck on trying to convince your son there’s no difference. To his partly-formed brain, he might assume no one would ever have a reason for calling the milks by different names if they are the same thing. I would have told him there was a huge lawsuit between dairies that resulted in them having to use different names, but I have no compunction about lying to young people for my own entertainment. Ask him the difference between Catsup and Ketchup?

    Also, loved your food groups list.

  18. Yep, as a former dairy maid, milk flavors change depending on what they eat. Pasture fed cows produce definitely better tasting milk…even the fat free styles…than stall fed. We got little Scout to eat by relabeling: hippopotamus milk, bear meat, moose sticks, etc. He didn’t quite believe it, but he went along with the ploy just in case it were true.

  19. I grew up on skim milk and also call it blue milk. My daughter is a vegetarian (but not vegan), so she also drinks it, but prefers soy milk. Personally, there is nothing better than ice-cold skim milk with a peanut butter sandwich!. Thanks for clearing up the skim milk/non-fat milk controversy!!

  20. I can understand noticing a difference in whole milk vs. fat free milk, but skim milk vs. fat free milk? Both are just overly watered milk.
    We use 2% for mac n’ cheese, other than that we are a soymilk family. Full fat, please.
    The ‘Tube Shaped’ food group is hilarious!

  21. Pingback: A Piece of the Action « Lessons From Teachers and Twits

  22. I remember my mother mixing powdered milk with whole milk as a kid: I guess with 7 kids drinking milk, it was cost effective.
    As an adult, I drink whole milk only. If I buy skim milk/fat free milk by mistake, I am disappointed. It tastes non-milkish and watery for me.

    note: I always called it “skinned milk” as a kid … and call it that now. Some things never change.

  23. jennygoth

    i always have semi skimmed milk i find full skimmed a bit watery in coffee dont mind on cereal lol cannot believe im discussing milk i went off drinking it when schools left it out and the birds helped themselves to the cream then we were told to drink it yuk xxjen

  24. The thing that drives me crazy about milk is how every store has different colors for different percentages of fat – I always think that I’m buying one kind but then it’s just the same color as last time but a different kind!

  25. My kids will eat NONE of those foods you listed! NOT ONE!

    I hate to be a party-pooper or rain on your parade, but I reckon the different “low fat” and “skim” milks – call them what you will – DO taste different. I love Keirin Perkins milk, but can’t stand Rev (for example). The first looks like milk, the second has that grey tinge of which you speak. So me? I’m with your son!

  26. Couldn’t they just have said, “it’s the same thing” and conveyed the same message?


  27. I bet you never thought a post about milk would be such a huge hit! I love skim milk, but no one else in my house will drink it. When I’m feeling really reckless, I put ice in it. We also stock up on full fat for the boys (they’re skinny little things) and 1% for my daughter and husband.
    Great post!

  28. I’m off of cow milk now. Doesn’t agree with me anymore. Like this post cause I can’t count how many conversations I’ve had with my kids just like this!

  29. Just remember with soy there is plant estrogen so you don’t want to go quantity on it…just in case you do try it. 🙂

  30. I sense a career path as an attorney!

    We drink organic whole milk. Raw. It’s like crack in the cream form and some think I’m a horrible mother for giving it to the kids. My boys also consume all of the foods from your above mentioned 6 major food groups and they are very content (nothing takes care of hunger like preservative laden foods) and peace abounds in our yeah, I’m ok with being called a horrible mother.

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