Who are these devils named soda? Are they cousins of the soft-drink devil clan? Or are they both the same? Let’s get the mask off this devil.
Soft Drinks are carbonated water with a natural or artificial flavour, sweetness either directly from sugar or one of its substitutes. They also contain caffeine, colourings, preservatives, and other ingredients.
This devilish colourful water with vibrant packing either in cans or plastic bottles attracts the child very easily. The ones which are served especially in fast-food restaurants and soda shops are served in a plastic or paper glasses with a straw are harder to resist for children, as the fizz over glass is all they want to get a taste of!
- It’s not new that sodas are ridiculously harmful to the human body. They are worse for the growing bodies of children, robbing them of all the nutrients of the good drinks that should ideally replace the soda! Have you ever thought about how this dangerously colourful water reacts to the human body? Is it really safe for a child to consume? Even if it is just one more glass that they are so badly requesting you for.
The list of common problems that come with soda consumption is longer than we can put together in one blog, but here are the topmost concern.
- Cavities: Drinking too much of a soft drink/soda can be host for teeth decay. At this young age, when it’s hard to get your child to brush their teeth properly, drinking these bad boys will only add to the problems. The sugar in carbonated soft drinks are a primary source for cavities. The bacteria in your child’s mouth with feed on sugar and make an acid that dissolves the tooth enamel, which eventually causes cavities. Diet sodas, which have no sugar but does contain acids, and are still not a safe option.
- Unhealthy weight gain: If you are an old school MOM and follow your handbook of trusted Grand mama’s techniques, weight gain should not be a major problem as long as it is healthily. Here you have to be careful as soda is the main source of weight gain. The high content sugar drink is one of the main reasons for obesity in later stages of life. Even diet soft drinks are equally responsible for obesity.
- Triggers aggression: Some parents may think, can a beverage cause a child to be aggressive? Well yes, it totally can! It is the vicious circle of the body, where the intake of a high amount of sugar or artificial flavored drinks/aerated drinks spikes the sugar level in blood, which causes aggression in young minds making them more demanding and stubborn.
- Diabetes: Yes, young children are also prone to Diabetes. Soda is not the only factor causing it, but regular intake of sodas will do no good. The mere ignorance at a young age could be a reason for pain in later years.
- Anxiety: As these drinks also contain caffeine, it can cause headaches, upset stomach, trigger jitteriness, and sleep problems. It’s also been associated with some behavioral problems and nervous system disorders causing anxiety.
Let’s get real! Sodas are way too addictive to get rid of. The struggle a mom goes through every time she sees her child with a can of soda is real.
So, here’s what we can do! We can try to replace their love for soda with some home-made alternatives, to get their taste buds used to something nutritious and delicious.
- Freshwater infused with herbs of fruits: Pick a fruit they relish the most, it could simply be some lemons or cucumbers. To make it more exciting, there are infusion bottles available both online and offline easily. This encourages a child to drink more of a healthy drink.
- Iced tea: Iced tea is another sweet alternative to sodas that are bursting with flavour. Unlike traditional hot teas, a lightly-sweetened iced tea provides a nice cool drink for the hot summer months. Drinking iced tea will give your child better hydration, offers healthy antioxidant qualities, and if lightly sweetened, will be a tasty alternative to soda. Lower-sugar iced teas don’t contain as much high fructose corn syrups as soda or added-sugar juices do. However, giving your child too much iced tea isn’t a good idea because tea does have moderate to high levels of caffeine and may cause health problems in the future.
- Juice with seltzer: A glass of juice with seltzer is the perfect way to get that fizz and make it a perfectly healthy replacement of soda. There’s no need to purchase sugary sodas or pricey vitamin-enhanced waters — which also pack calories — when instead you can mix 100 percent, no-sugar-added juice with seltzer. A thick, tart juice, such as pomegranate or grape, makes for a great fizz base, in addition to supplying health benefits. Still, don’t go overboard with juice. It’s a common misconception that juice is good for you because it’s made from fruit. While it does have nutritional benefits that soda lacks, it can also be high in sugar and calories. To cut down on your sugar intake, mix one-part juice with three parts seltzer to create this light and bubbly drink.
- Sugarcane juice: The natural sweetness of sugarcane juice won’t harm your little one. This summer drink is not only popular for its taste and its thirst-quenching capacity, but also has many benefits which include weight loss. Along with the benefits of nutrients, sugarcane juice can help your child in dropping the excess weight that your child may gain from unhealthy food choices. One glass (300ml) of sugarcane juice contains 111 calories which is rich in healthy carbohydrates, proteins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium too.
- Milk: Apart from these, a good ol’ glass of milk is a healthy alternative to sodas. Be it a simple glass of cow milk or flavoured with the goodness of almonds, saffron (Kesar), turmeric latte, etc; it helps in building strong teeth, muscles, and bones. For a lactose intolerant child, soy Milk or almond milk can be a great alternative. A glass of non-fat or low-fat milk provides your child with much-needed calcium and vitamin D.
- Nimbu Paani : Lemonade (nimbu paani) is a good source of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. It is also very refreshing in the heat, especially with a hint of mint (pudina). But, lemonade tends to be high on sugar, especially if it is bought in the market. Market bought varieties might also contain artificial flavours and colouring, which are not good for your child. Check the list of ingredients at the back of the package, to choose a variety made from real fruit. Preferably, stir some up at home in a quick minute and serve your child the trusted and healthy version of lemonade.
With so many distractions to your child’s good health, it is no less than a challenge to make strong and well-informed choices, choices that result in the best health and growth of your child. As hard as it is to keep your little one away from sodas, we assure you that these steps will reduce your struggle by half. For we know you can handle the other half brilliantly by yourself and a little support from our MKB tribe.
What are the tricks and tips that work for you to keep soda far off from your child’s routine? Share with the fellow moms in the comments below.