After watching a child at a playground drink from his parents’ soda, I was curious to find out the long-term effect of caffeine in a child’s body. I have to say it was truly shocking and I learned a lot. First off, if a can of soda slowly eats away the paint from a car, just think of what that is doing to the inside of a child’s body — and yours. Second, I also found that a mother who drinks coffee will then in her breast milk pass onto her infant or toddler her caffeine. So, if you hope that your child will relax and fall asleep after his or her feeding, think again. The caffeine collects in a woman’s breast milk over four to six hours and can make a baby irritable within an hour of being fed.
In the book The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, Dr. William Sears, M.D. says “junky carbs can act like drugs, especially when you partner them with the caffeine, artificial flavors, and chemical colorings found in soft drinks and sweets. And like many other mood-altering substances, junky carbs are addictive.” Overall, soda in any form is bad.
I believe that children should drink lots of water and, after the age of three, a child should slowly stop drinking milk. If you would like your child to drink tea, help him or her by preparing a tea that is caffeine free. If you want your child to have a little sweet to go along with the taste, add some honey, but only if your child is over the age of one. Talk with your child about what foods do to their body. Talk with your child about how certain foods make you feel when you eat or drink them. Also, as a parent, it is important to be a good role model for your child. If you must have coffee, try to do it away from your child. This will help with mixed messages between you and your child.
What do you tell your kids when they ask you for sodas ? I`d love to hear some comments.