By Emily Kitchin
It's almost summer and you know what that means? Cookouts, beach days, picnics and more. At every turn, your kids will be tempted by sugary sweets and soda.
Here at Pretzel Kids we know that kids love soda, but you may want to think twice before stocking your fridge with seemingly harmless beverages such as Coca-Cola and Sprite. Why? They are more detrimental to your children’s health than you may realize.
Here are 5 reasons why you may want to offer up some good ‘ol ice cold water or homemade lemonade the next time your child is thirsty while playing outside this summer.
1. Terrible Tooth Decay
You know what dentists say…”brush and floss your teeth twice a day!” Well, another tip that they should be giving out is to avoid drinking soda. Soda is full of sugar and acid, which can lead to tooth enamel being dissolved. Additionally, it can make your children’s teeth more prone to developing cavities and tooth decay. Yuck!
Click here to learn more about healthy snack options for kids
2. Overwhelming Obesity
Soda is extremely unhealthy for children because it contains significant levels of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. These two incriminating ingredients can cause excessive and abnormal weight gain in both children and adults. If your child is craving a drink other than water, try offering them a nice glass of orange juice or milk. These two alternatives are chock-full of vitamins and minerals.
Click here to learn more about childhood obesity
3. Horrible Heart Disease & Damaging Diabetes
In addition to obesity, high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that is present in almost all sodas, is known to elevate the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This harmful condition has the potential to raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
4. Sinister Sugar
Soda’s primary ingredient is sugar. Drinking even just one cup of it is essentially equivalent to consuming a cup full of the sweet stuff. This can unfortunately lead to elevated blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, and the liver releasing more sugar into the bloodstream -- a situation that is certainly not healthy for anyone, especially growing kids.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of drinking water instead of sugary sodas
5. Soda Says See Ya to Calcium
Sodas contain a substance called phosphoric acid. When this acid works its way through the digestive tract, it reduces the amount of calcium in the body. Calcium is a super important mineral to have, as it helps create strong, healthy bones. Kids are constantly growing and need a lot of calcium so that they can develop properly. Decreased calcium in the body can lead to accelerated bone degeneration and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Soda is unhealthy for your children. Kids may find it tasty, but in reality, it is a bad idea to let them drink it. There are tons of super healthy alternatives to soda, including healthy, delicious and natural juices. It is also important to encourage kids to follow healthy habits starting at a young age so that they will continue healthy eating - and drinking - habits throughout their lives.
Emily Kitchin is a content writer at Pretzel Kids and a student at Muhlenberg College
Soda graphic courtesy of Station Jeep Chrysler