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Hopped On Pop: Mom Talk

Sugar isn't the only ingredient in soda that shakes our kids up.

On a recent vacation, we struggled to find healthy-ish foods for our son to eat. It's hard enough for adults to mind our, ahem, girlish figures, let alone feed our kids.

I'm not opposed to the drive thru from time to time. I don't expect Jenny Craig to hand me the bag through the window. However, it surprises me how many places don't serve plain white milk.

is one place that has stepped up with making meals healthier. Our son loves the apples, certainly more than the fries. He drinks milk almost exclusively.

While on this trip, we met another guest at the inn—a body builder. (Did I say body builder? What I meant is that he was by far the largest man I have ever seen, and that includes several pro football players.) We got to talking about food. Turns out, he is a bit of an expert in child nutrition.

He told us that one of the single worst drinks for kids is pop. That seems a little obvious to me. Yet the way he explained it was eye-opening. Their little bodies can't handle the caffeine. In addition to the standard sugar-induced hyper-activity, their bodies get strung out on the caffeine.

And yet, when I go to parties, I see kids as young as 3 and 4 drink pop after pop after pop. I remember seeing one little girl too big to jump. By age 7, she and her mom both went to Weight Watchers together. What a thing to have to subject a child to.

I commend First Lady Michelle Obama for her Let's Move initiative. It seems trivial but it is so regularly overlooked. Have we really become a society where we need public service announcements to tell kids to go outside and play?

Even Sesame Street has layered in extra sketches about exercise. For example, Jason Mraz changed his popular tune to teach kids to go "Outdoors."

It's hard enough as adults to keep active and healthy. Do we really have to subject our kids to those awful extra pounds so early?

As our new body-builder friend said, people would lose a surprising amount of body weight just by cutting out the pop.

So as we wrap up the last of our summer vacations, let's try to focus on keeping our little ones healthy as well as happy. When they aren't so jazzed up by pop, they behave better, and don't get yelled at as much.

Sometimes, the answers can be quite simple.

Loreta J. August 01, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I agree about the dyes! In general, I buy only foods that are mostly all natural and organic when I can. no colors, no preservatives, etc. I do make exceptions, of course. I get what I can at Meijer, (they offer a lot of great options) and some things I get at Whole Foods. The colors, dyes, preservatives and nitrates certainly affect one's health in the short and long term. I think it's great that people are aware and concerned about what we put into our kids bodies and ours too!
JPauly August 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM
My 11 year old son gets one 12oz can of diet pop for each 12oz glass of skim milk he drinks. Works great. He doesn't have any weight issues, is healthy, and is already 5'5". Usually, it's 2 cans per day, but sometimes it's 3, which I'm fine with. Also, no cavities with his last check up.
BWood August 01, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Loreta did you know chocolate milk is recommended for athletes based on it's nutritional balance of carbs and proteins.
Ann Paul August 01, 2012 at 06:54 PM
You need to do your research on diet pop. The aspartame is toxic to anyone and worse probably for a young kid. People think "diet" pop is better than regular pop, but it is shown to be worse. 2-3 cans a day of pop okay with you? See what it's doing to his internal organs first and then decide if this is really the right thing to do.
JPauly August 01, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Already researched. The benefits of the milk greatly outweigh the risks of the diet pop. The only one that concerned me was the halo effect of the diet pop, but my kid is not a big eater so I dismissed it.
Loreta J. August 01, 2012 at 07:16 PM
BWood, that is great to know about the chocolate milk. Thank you for sharing, as I would never have guessed! I'm going to look into that. He loves chocolate milk, and if can feel more comfortable about it I'll be a nice option!
The Sentinel August 01, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Y'know, Mio can be added to water for a little taste yet basically it's all still water. Just a drop or three in a glass works fine.
Loreta J. August 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Yes! We have a few containers of Mio in 2 different flavors. It's actually pretty good. you can flavor it more or less according to taste. 1 drop is usually good. Also some Powerade Zero. Not thrilled about the chemical/color part of either of the two, but it's an option!
Baba O'Riley August 01, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Agreed! I stopped buying soda years ago mainly because my oldest daughter saw it fit to finish it as fast as she could. I personally gave up soda many years ago but on occasion I enjoy a nice glass with things. I purchased a Soda Stream. Perfect solution. The kids were told that if they were caught attempting to use it then garage sale it will go. Also I use half of the syrup mix for a full bottle and they have no idea. Look our for Gatorade and other sports drinks. Tons of sugar. And energy drinks? Nobody should drink them. Bad stuff.
Jacki McHale August 01, 2012 at 10:32 PM
My husband gave up pop when he started the P90X exercise and diet program (going on 3 years now) he stuck with the diet part for less then 2 weeks. BUT the fact that he cut out pop almost 3 years ago and still NOT a drop! (this coming from a man who drank 6-8 cans of Coke a day) I gave it up with him. I've gone back since. BUT I will go weeks with out. It's more of a treat for me. I do prefer water, or tea over it. My 6 year old daughter, and 4 year old son have NEVER (to my knowledge) had pop. I don't mind now that they are older to try it, or have some. But it's never on the grocery list, and I like it that way. We do love our coffee, black. So caffeine wasn't cut out for us. But it's much better then the pop was. Good article, and reminder!
Patty Wagner August 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM
We don't keep it in the house, but the kids are free to have Sprite when we eat out (once a week). It's just an offered choice; I would say one of my kids picks it more often than the others, but the other two are just as likely to order milk or water.
Flora Dora August 02, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Water is the best drink. Juice drinks have sugar and our pediatrician says if children ask for juice give them 100 percent juice with water added to it.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Not sugar in pop it is High Fructose Corn Syrup not sugar.Sugar is a natural substance found in natural fruit. HFCS contains Mercury.It was found in independent studies by companies that were sued by the HFCS industry...Any one ever see the news that Government want to regulate sugar? For health reasons? This was done right after the HFCS was found to have Mercury in ti..This report that was put out about how bad sugar is for you was introduced by the HFCS industry.There was no report that HFCS is bad for you now was there.Did you hear of it? ...Not at all. If you get rid of sugar all you have is HFCS....Read your labels...it is not sugar your kids are drinking.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 02:46 PM
High Fructose CornSyrup is NOT sugar. Report to ban sugar or regulate it was brought forth by the High Fructose Corn Syrup industry....All Hight Fructose Corn Syrup Products contain Mercury....Poison......There is no sugar in pop unless it comes from Mexico you can read the labels pop from the U.S. is all HFCS pop made in mexico says on the label natural sugar.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Wake up America
Loreta J. August 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM
you can get pop that is sweetened with cane sugar. No HFCS...Cane sugar, although natural, is still going to raise your blood sugar, just as fruit will. I don't buy anything with high fructose corn syrup, but natural sugar is still sugar and is a bad carb.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Your body is made of these substances.All fruit contains natural sugar.if you eliminate all sugar than you basically quit eating. You body can suffer damage.If your blood sugar shoots up because of fruit there is something else wrong. take a look at the newer studies about sugar levels. like diabetics the Dr.s instantly attack the blood sugar level.New independent studies suggest there is something else wrong.That has nothing to do with the amount of sugar you take in.Like the reports that say salt is bad for you...but with out salt your body will cramp up just like lack of potassium...people eat a crap load of bananas and no salt and wonder why they're still getting cramps....When you crave something like I have seen people crave dirt...which is usually your body telling you ya need iron....something else is wrong...it is only a bad carb if used in a bad way.lack of sugar has just as much effect as having too much.
Loreta J. August 06, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I appreciate where you are coming from, and I agree with you John about needing sugar, such as from fruit, etc. It helps in cell growth (at least that's what I heard from my ex husband who is a nurse). I don't claim to know all the chemical or medical history about it, other than, I like to limit the amount of "junk" we eat that might contain excessive amounts of sugar (whatever kind it may be) and other stuff like saturated fats, colors, preservatives, etc. Some sugar is definitely ok, and I'm not a fanatic, just trying to eat smart. Maybe I'm totally off on this subject, but for now I gotta go with my instincts :)
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Nope you are correct.there is a lot of junk out there.lol.having a limit on it is definatley a way to a healthier life.we agree just because you can eat,or drink it does not mean you should.lol
The Sentinel August 06, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Loretta, the key word in your post is "limit". As a diabetic, I know there's no way I can escape sugars. There is sugar in practically everything, even in things you'd never guess. Maybe the best thing to do is be aware...read the labels and try to limit the intake of sugar to minimal amounts. As far as fruits go, with their natural sugars, there are many benefits to eating fruits as there are detriments. Bananas ARE a good source of potassium even though they contain natural sugars as well. You instincts are your best defense and moderation and exercise is a good idea. HFCS is awful tough to avoid but I've found that MY sugar counts do not go as high after I drink something with HFCS (like diet pop) as they do if I drink regular soft drinks. My key to remember is moderation.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Pepsi products use a company that makes flavor enhancers.These flavor enhancers are Aborted fetal cells used from abortions.Look it up you will see I am not lying.they along with other companies bottled water,cereal,pop tarts,candy bars,bullion cubes ALL Coffee Creamers yep All of them.....There is more important stuff to be more concerned about than sugar or HFCS.lol. If you tried to eliminate these things on the list of products and companies you would starve to death unless you grow your own food and only eat natural things....Just look it up before you discredit...I have cut out most things and to tell ya the truth it boils down to eating only natural things not created by chemicals,additives and preservatives..
Barry Allen August 06, 2012 at 05:39 PM
OK. Sounds horrifying. Snopes.com, however, does clarify the issue (http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/pepsi.asp). There are NO aborted fetal cells, or anything that contains aborted fetal cells, in Pepsi.
Loreta J. August 06, 2012 at 05:48 PM
@ The Sentinel..agreed. My mom is a diabetic and drinks diet pop when she decides to have soda-not regularly. I know it's impossible to avoid it all, but yes, limit where we can and make smarter choices. @ John, that is just gross...:) I don't know if that that is true, (not doubting you, just sayin') but just the thought makes me want to rid my pantry of all nasties...LOL. You are right though, the best thing is to only eat natural foods, not processed, boxed, colored, flavored, enhanced etc. I admit I can't do that 100%. An old boss of mine was a raw vegan. Sure she was healthy, but so am I, and I couldn't help but to eat an oreo every now and again! LOL
John Roberts August 07, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Here is what obamas administration said about it.Yep a law was passed then there came the amendments to it...like every law we have. http://www.dailypaul.com/221302/obama-agency-rules-pepsis-use-of-aborted-fetal-cells-in-soft-drinks-constitutes-ordinary-business-operations
John Roberts August 07, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Back in 2011, Children of God for Life (CGL), a non-profit group,  exposed Pepsi’s dealings with Senomyx. This triggered  a global outcry. Pepsi had many alternative options to produce these flavor chemicals without using fetal cells, and which competitors have adopted. But it, instead, decided to use these aborted fetal cells or “isolated human taste receptors” Months later shareholders of Pepsi filed a resolution asking the company to change its policies and adopt more ethical procedures. But the Obama Administration, via the SEC, shot down the resolution by saying Pepsi’s use of such aborted baby or fetal cells was “business as usual.”
John Roberts August 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Snoops . Com had just about all of my info wrong....snoops in an Internet info gatherer not a public record,investigation site there is a difference.snoops scans the Internet for information put out there by any one. I could write a piece on you and put it on the Internet and it will use that info as yours.
Olddeegee August 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Wow. John R. is so much smarter that Snopes (ya know, just a website) that he spelled it snoops. That must be his site where he can correct all of us. You're a bloviating, lonely, SCOTUS impersonator that leans on Ron Paul sites for "facts". I don't know which chronic whiner you really are as the name you use simply popped up here, but unless you have anything factual with 2 or 3 sources I'm petitioning that we block your wandering half-truths.
John Roberts August 09, 2012 at 03:44 PM
First of all I called it snoops because because it scans the Internet snooping around gathering any info it can right or wrong. Blovating lonely scouts impersonator....All labels that make no sense because you can speak no sense..I mean really your trying to label me so no one takes me serious..we bud the information is out there find it,use it,gather it, this story about Pepsi is all over the net....I am a man that raised 3 kids 2 becoming nurses and the other here,I am married now 13 years lonely I'ds a far cry bid.lol see I am who I am I am John Roberts Of Joliet Illinois not some name I want to post unde like you scared of people knowing who you are...I use my real name and I live here with the rest of the Roberts Family......Cronic whiner...lol you can tell you are one of thoes people who will not bother to look up the information but maybe only on SNOOPS. There are other resources like PRESiDENT OBAMA and his administration that said this...in case you didnt know Obama was quoted as saying it...lol but I guess it's all a conspiracy theory to you...maybe cause your like a lot of others You do not like the truth...Don't be mad....I drank Pepsi too... Lol just cause you find something out ya don't like ya try to label people to discredit what they are saying because other witse you would come out with facts instead of labels.lol
John Roberts August 09, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Back in January, Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey proposed legislation to ban the production of aborted fetal cell-derived flavor chemicals in his home state. If passed, S.B. 1418 would also reportedly ban the sale of any products that contain flavor chemicals derived from human fetal tissue, which includes Pepsi products Kraft & Nestlé.......but I guess is is all a conspiracy theory right....Don't bother to look up the bill though ....just throw me some more labels....lol
The Sentinel August 09, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Loretta, watch the caffiene too. Regular Coke, Pepsi and root beers usually are caffienated and that might make the jitters happen more than sugars. When I do have pop, I'll drink Diet, non-caffienated. Doesn't affect my blood pressure nor my sugar readings. As for taste, I don't get the "aftertaste" that some people do when trying diet pop and I prefer diet Coke (no caffiene) over Pepsi products...just my own taste preference. I use fruit juices only for bringing my readings up if I slip too low. Orange juice, while good for you, REALLY shoots 'em up there for me, very quickly, and it's what I ask for if I'm in a restaurant when I feel my sugars dropping too low. But loike I said, if your son feels jittery after drinking pop, it CAN be too much caffiene as much as sugars.

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