Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

My daughter, Hallie, is two years old and does not drink soda. Hallie is not offered soda and we ask that adults around her not provide soda. Hallie drinks milk and water, and sometimes at breakfast, I will offer juice. Yet, I have absolutely no issues offering Hallie ice cream for dessert and chips at lunch. What’s the difference?

As a mom, I’m really not sure. I’m not a dietician or a pediatrician. What I do know, is that drinks like soda have addictive properties. Yes, sugar in general can be incredibly addictive, but most ice cream isn’t crammed full of caffeine, either.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages offering toddlers soda. Children are still working hard to build their tiny bodies and rely on calcium from milk. Teeth are also susceptible to rotting at this young age, and honestly, soda is just not a great habit. The calories are completely empty, and I can convince myself that at least ice cream has calcium in it somewhere.

There is nothing beneficial about soda. Even I don’t drink soda, but I’m not the biggest fan of carbonation. Makes my tongue all tingly.

It doesn’t even count as hydrating, because caffeine in general makes you need to pee more. Which means you’re using the bathroom more. Which means you’re losing liquids faster.

So, at what age is it ok to offer soda?

Restricting soda completely has health benefits but does it leave a strong impulse for children to get their hands on it whenever possible? There are bound to be birthday parties and sleepovers with unlimited amounts of fizzy drinks.

I like the idea of everything in moderation, exposing kids to different foods and teaching that ice cream is only a special treat, not a meal. Do kids or adults ever outgrow the risk of obesity that has been linked to soda and other unhealthy habits?

When did you offer your kids soda, if at all? Let us know in the comments!