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Humblebrag: My 5-Year-Old Has Never Had A Soda

We went to the movies this weekend, and I went to the counter and ordered my son the usual: a kid’s popcorn combo pack that also comes with a soft drink. But my kid gets the softest of drinks water.

At nearly 6 years old, my oldest has never had soda, and we’re keeping it that way as long as possible. When it comes to beverages, he has milk often, juice sometimes, and water always.

We just hired a new nanny to come and work with the family, and she noted on day 2: “I’m so glad you don’t give your kids pop. My friend’s 4-year-old just had to have dental surgery because of all the soda they drink.” My wife and I were floored. It brought us back to a BBQ we went to a few summers ago, where 3-year-olds were walking around with full cans of Coke Classic. Seriously.

Yes, I’m the Dad that humblebrags about not taking his kids to McDonald’s, and while I get why some of you can trot out the “I’m in a rush,” or “sometimes it’s okay” excuses, I can’t find one where pop wins over water, milk, or juice. If pop is available, so is water. You have to make the choice to give it to your kids, and like a drug dealer, once you give them those first few hits of delicious sugar, you’ll have a customer for life.

So before you crack a can of cola for your kids at dinner or order them a fast food meal with something other than water, milk, or juice, Rethink Your Drink. Scroll through these images of the sugar that you’re feeding your kids with their dinner/lunch/movie snacks.

I hope you have a connection to a good oral surgeon.


  • How Much Sugar 1 of 14
    How Much Sugar
    Okay, so let's break it down - how much sugar are you really drinking?
    Image via iStockPhoto
  • Milk 2 of 14
    Milk
    Even good old healthy 2% milk has 11g (nearly 3 tsp) of sugar per serving. Comparatively, though, it's much better than the rest.
    Image via Buzz Bishop
  • Apple Juice 3 of 14
    Apple Juice
    Ever wonder why parents often/should dilute fruit juices? Just look at the sugar:
    8 oz (240 ml) Serving
    Sugars, total: 26g (6 1/2 teaspoons)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Orange Juice 4 of 14
    Orange Juice
    Remember to read what the serving size is. In this case, your kid should only have half the bottle.
    8 oz (240 ml) Serving
    Sugars, total: 24g (6 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Snapple 5 of 14
    Snapple
    You skip the soda and give them an iced tea? Look out.
    16 oz Bottle
    Sugars, total: 46g (11 1/2 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Sweetened Ice Tea 6 of 14
    Sweetened Ice Tea
    Again, pay attention to serving size. You're not supposed to suck back the whole bottle.
    Arizona Lemon Ice Tea
    8 oz (240 ml) Serving
    Sugars, total: 24g (6 1/2 teaspoons)
    24 oz Can Sugars, total:
    72g (18 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Lemonade 7 of 14
    Lemonade
    Lemons are tart —guess what makes lemonade taste good? More sugar than a soda.
    20 oz (590 ml) Bottle
    Sugars, total: 67g (17 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Chocolate Milk 8 of 14
    Chocolate Milk
    If milk has sugar, you know chocolate milk has more.
    16 oz Bottle
    Sugars, total: 58g (14 1/2 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Colas 9 of 14
    Colas
    Here we go. I actually saw a 3 year old wander a BBQ with a can of this stuff.
    12 oz (355 ml) Can
    Sugars, total: 39g (10 tsp)
    20 oz (590 ml) Bottle
    Sugars, total: 65g (16 tsp)
    1 Liter (34 oz) Bottle
    Sugars, total: 108g (27 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Mountain Dew 10 of 14
    Mountain Dew
    And it gets worse.
    20 oz (590 ml) Bottle
    Sugars, total: 77g (19 tsp)
    1 L (34 oz) Bottle
    Sugars, total: 124g (31 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Red Bull 11 of 14
    Red Bull
    A campaign has been waged against energy and sports drinks in youth culture. Maybe this is why.
    8.3 oz (250 ml) Can
    Sugars, total: 27g (7 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Vitamin Water 12 of 14
    Vitamin Water
    It may have water in the name, but I didn't know that sugar was a vitamin.
    20 oz (590 ml) Bottle
    Sugars, total: 33g (8 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Big Gulp 13 of 14
    Big Gulp
    This is why Mayor Bloomberg in NYC put an end to huge serving sizes.
    32 oz Big Gulp
    Sugars, total: 91g (23 tsp)
    44 oz Super Gulp
    Sugars, total: 128g (32 tsp)
    Images via SugarStacks.com
  • Water 14 of 14
    Water
    After all that, consider this: water is just water. That's it. It's all your body needs when you're thirsty.
    Image via iStockPhoto

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