Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pet Peeve #1

I'll admit it - I cringe when I see adults giving soda to kids. I don't understand why anyone would give their kids liquid sugar and caffeine when it offers nothing redeeming and there are so many better choices out there. Shockingly, I see it a lot. Don't even get me started on how many folks I see putting soda in a bottle or sippy cup....

There are so many reasons why no one should drink soda, but even more so for kids:
  1. Obesity - A 12 oz. can of soda is loaded with 10 teaspoons of sugar and about 150 calories.Would anyone let their kid sit down with a bowl of sugar and eat it? Empty calories with no nutritional value makes you gain weight.
  2. Tooth decay - All of that sugar is horrible for a child's developing teeth. Cavities are no fun for anyone!
  3. Caffeine - Most sodas have caffeine in them, which is stimulant that gets a child all wired up and hyper. I have heard many parents complain that they have a hard time getting their kids in bed at night while cracking open a Mountain Dew for them to drink. Plus, caffeine is addictive!
  4. Calcium - If a child is drinking soda when they are thirsty, then they are probably missing out on calcium from milk. Soda also contains phosphoric acid which interferes with calcium absorption. That daily soda habit could be making your child's growing bones weak. 
  5. Hydration - Soda is not a hydrating beverage. In fact, a caffeinated beverage is a diuretic and contributes to dehydration. If your child is thirsty, they need water.
There are plenty of other reasons for children not to drink soda.  It is a bad habit to start, and a hard habit to break. Keep your kids hydrated with water, milk, and a little bit of 100% juice to give them good habits to grow into healthy adults!

P.S. There are companies out there making healthier versions of carbonated drinks, like Juicy Juice. If your kids really love soda, perhaps you could offer these as an occasional option.

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