“Energy” drinks for our Kids

A new study was just released about the effects of energy drinks on kid’s teeth.  The study showed that energy drinks can cause tooth enamel damage and increases the risk of cavities and tooth decay.  Hey parents, it doesn’t sound much different than soda does it?  So why do we buy these “energy” drinks for our kids?  The drink market has exploded so much over the last 20 years that if you go to the drink aisle in a mini-mart or a super-market it will be one of the most colorful, magical experiences you’ll ever have.  And if your kids are with you, watch out.  They’ll tug on your pants to the point where you’ll just say, “fine” and give in.

What you might not realize is that these “energy” drinks and other sugar-water drinks are packaged in a vibrant, colorful way so that you become subliminally attracted them.  You’ll also see big bold words on the packaging like, “energy” or “juice” or “vitamin”.  Then your brain says, “Oh, not only are they bright and colorful like real fruit, they’re healthy for my kid too.”  Nonsense!  Here are a couple of real healthy alternatives you can give your kids that won’t destroy the enamel on their teeth or make them fat.

1.  Give your kids water:  Nothing new here.  We all know that water doesn’t cause cavities, tooth decay or obesity.  You can filter your own water from your faucet or get 24-bottles of Poland Spring on sale for $2.99.  Not a bad deal considering that one bottle of some of these energy drinks can cost $2.99 each.  I’ve been giving my kids water from day one and guess what they ask for when they’re thirsty?  You guessed it – water

2.  Look for labels that say 100%:  The next time you’re at the supermarket and are about to buy a package of juice drinks, make sure it says 100% juice.  Do you know what 100% juice means?  It means that there is nothing else in it other than real fruit juice.  It’s actually healthy for your kids.  Not only will your kids love it, one serving of juice also counts as a serving of fruit.  If the package says, “made from real fruit juice” or “contains 10% fruit juice”, stay away; it’s a disguise for the fact that the drink is really just sugar water.  I’m so happy that Kraft’s CapriSun now makes a 100% juice variety.  Check it out here: http://www.kraftbrands.com//CaprisunMoms/varieties.aspx?ctype=juice

3.  Never Ever give your kids soda:  One can has 8-10 teaspoons of sugar. Need I say more?



  • Great article Tom.  And in addition to teeth decay, these drinks are adding to the child obesity problem this country’s facing.  I can’t tell you how many times I see adults buying kids, overweight kids, these giant energy drinks.  It’s amazing how many people ignore the simple things that can make such a difference in their kid’s life.  That poor overweight child is starting out their life in such a bad way and there’s nothing he/she can do about it because they don’t know any different.  

    It’s not too hard to teach your children what’s healthy and what’s not.  You’re their parent.  They want to believe you.  (at least until a certain age 🙂  Our little girl (4 years old) chooses water over anything else probably 90% of the time.  She knows that juice and other drinks are a “sometimes” drink, just as snacks and other treats are sometimes food.

    A little effort goes a long way.  And as Tom mentions above, saves a few dollars as well.