Every kid love sweet things. They can’t get enough Honey Nut Cheerios when they’re three, and by the time they’re nine, they’ve moved on to Fruit Loops, and then they discover the wonders of soda—that oh so sweet caffeinated, carbonated elixir. All of the sudden, you’re desperate to get them to stop drinking soda for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The fact is, one bottle of soda contains the equivalent of more than seventeen regular sugar packets. How many sugars do you put in your coffee every morning? Probably not quite as many as your kids drink in their lunchtime soda. And at 150 calories per can of soda, that lunchtime soda can end up being more than fifteen pounds per year. It’s clear that our kids need alternatives to soda.
As the nation tumbles headlong into the biggest diabetes epidemic in history, next generation parents are wondering what they can do to help their kids stop drinking soda. Studies show that sugar can stimulate the same brain reward centers as drugs and alcohol, so it’s imperative that parents avoid letting daily sugar tsunamis in the form of mealtime sodas become a habit. Are there alternatives to soda out there for moms who care about their children’s health?
Truthfully, probably not entirely. Kids will always clamor for sweet treats. But, you can shepherd your kids toward drinks that are better for them.
Try these suggestions to help your kids stop drinking soda:
- If you keep your fridge stocked with orange or apple juice, your kids will naturally stop drinking soda at home. Juices contain a significant amount of sugar as well, but they are naturally derived and are much healthier than the artificial sweeteners used in soda. Juice is also caffeine-free!
- Drinking milk can be a big contributor to your child’s daily nutrition needs. Current dietary guidelines recommend two cups of low-fat milk per day for younger children, which will net them 500 milligrams of calcium. For a comforting nighttime treat, try warming up milk and mixing in a little honey.
- If your kids are still complaining about your kibosh on soda, try mixing Sunny D juice with seltzer water. It will dilute the sugars in Sunny D, and give it the same carbonated bubbles that children love so much.