Drinking your Calories
When you are out and about doing errands with the kids, it is quite convenient to just to purchase sodas, Slurpies ® and even a Jamba Juice® for you family. Again, it is all about portions. A 16 oz Jamba Juice ® Mango-A Go Go has 300 calories. Ask for an extra cup and split it up between your kids or just ask them to only fill it up half way (it is hard to stop halfway once it is in your cup). Even for yourself as you drop in to Starbucks for a 12 oz pick-me- upper café mocha (with whip cream of course) you'll be drinking in 260 calories. Having young children have sips of your frosted mocha is not a great idea because caffeine can have more of an effect on children whose body weight is much less than an adults. Caffeine can cause upset stomachs and disrupt sleep.
The concern in our society today it that these sweetened beverages become the norm or daily beverage choice. Certainly, a decaffeinated soda at a pizza party once in awhile really won't do that much harm to your child, however, if you go home and add in the ice cream that day, and the high sugar cereal from the morning and the hard candy sweet from a quick stop at the store, you have a lot of empty calories and sugar being consumed in just one day. Also, remember if you are drinking soda throughout the day, eventually your teenage will do so too (role modeling does have a huge impact).
Kids do need calories. For example a 10 year old girl may need 2,000 calories. Of course, if she is on the petite side or isn't very active, she'll need less calories.
Most of these sweet drinks provide very little nutrition. It can either fill the child up so he doesn't want to eat later, missing out on other beneficial food like sliced fruit, or it can actual add unnecessary calories. For a child or even an adult needing to lose weight, this can be easy just by changing beverages. It is possible to fall back on good ol' water. Many companies now offer flavored water such as lemon and raspberry. At home, add fresh mint or sliced oranges or cucumbers into a glass of ice water. For a special event, serve club soda with sliced lemons. The best benefit of water - there are zero calories.
There are flavored water or club soda with zero calories that are better options.
Start your young kids off right when they are little. Avoid offering children soda and punch.