It used to be that on a normal day when I cleaned, I would gather empty and half empty soda cans from all over the house and dump them into the sink and then into the recycle bin. Every half empty can I touched would irritate me more than the previous. Soda is expensive and my kids waste.
My husband has been hooked on Mountain Dew since he was a young man. My children have also always loved soda. When I was a little kid it was a special occasion to have soda in the house. And when I was a little older it was all diet soda and mostly for my mom. Again we were lucky to get any.
When I was a new mom and my kids never got soda. Then I became a single mom. Soda started showing up. First with my use, then I would give in to the kids requesting it.When my oldest became Type 1 Diabetic (which had nothing to do with soda) we used sugary soda and kept it on hand for low blood glucose levels and switched to consuming diet sodas for all of us for all other times.
I used to limit the consumption of caffeinated sodas. Kids are tough enough to raise without a caffeine high. Then as they got older the limits became less and less. They had their favorites and somehow managed to drink them one way or another.
Over the past few years I have tried many times to just stop buying soda. Have it when you go out, but not in my house. The biggest and loudest arguments came from my husband. He is an adult after all and can make his own choices on what he eats and drinks. Sigh. It was 6 against 1 every time the debate came up. (Some soda info and a rebuttal to that info).
Then miraculously one day Tia came home and told me about an experiment they had done with cola in science class. She was disgusted and decided to swear off soda. She asked her father and I for help with alternative drinks to avoid soda. Well hello! Of course. (Now it was 5 to 2, in case your keeping track). She requested orange juice. So my husband started buying 1/2 gallons of orange juice every time he bought a case of soda.
Then the other kids wanted to drink Tia's orange juice. Oh, she was pissed. She wasn't drinking their soda so they shouldn't drink her Orange juice. A valid argument.
One day (not so long ago) there was an article about BVO, brominated vegetable oil. Yuck. I read this article and looked it up and read many more. My husbands soda of choice is Mountain Dew (yep contains BVO), when I drink soda I prefer orange soda (yep contains BVO), Coke and Pepsi do not contain BVO but those ones weren't in our house very often. Even my sister and my favorite soda of choice as teens, Squirt contains BVO. (We used to joke that instead of water in Heaven there would be Squirt).
So armed with this new information (and Tia) we took it to the masses (in our house). Do you know what your drinking? BVO is a flame retardant. Did you know in Europe there is a ban on adding it to food and drinks?
We got many different comments and just a stare from the hubby. I have to say Macy's humorous comment of teen boys lighting their farts would be safe if they drank Mountain Dew first, got more attention then our disgust at BVO. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
Then we found a really cool product, Mio. Mio is a product you flavor your water with. It comes in many different flavors, even green energy. I bought one to try out, thinking if I could get the kids to drink more water that would be great. (Most of them complain water tastes blah). They liked it. Yes!
The next step towrds the no soda in our house was a discussion about how much sugar was in a Mountain Dew and how many calories were being consumed with that Dew. Someone (I won't say who) decided they wanted to try and find an alternative. WOOOHOOO!!! (We are now up to 4 to 3).
I like seltzer water. Even Macy and Ethan like seltzer water. The other ones have made faces at me over the years wondering how I could drink it. I just like the bubbles. When I am thirsty bubbly water tastes great. If it wasn't so expensive I would buy Pellegrino by the case.
It occurred to me that the Mio they had already accepted in their water would work in seltzer water. So I bought a 12 pack of seltzer. Armed with Mio in multiple flavors I attempted to entice the children to give it a try. It took a few times. But guess what? They all now prefer seltzer water flavored with Mio, lemon, or lime.
The big hurdle was my husband. However as it turns out the green energy Mio added to seltzer water tastes just like a monster (at a fraction of the cost by the way).
All of my children now drink seltzer water, sometimes flavored. Ethan sat down and drank half a can unflavored last night. I think he just likes it cause it makes him burp. The main thing is that we are not buying soda. If we are out and they order a soda, OK. That counts as a special occasion. My husband still drinks soda away from home. But since he also works from home a lot, he is drinking only a fraction of what he used to.
Now I know that there are chemicals in Mio. It is sweetened with sugar free sweeteners. However its a tiny squirt and its a hell of a lot better than all that soda they were drinking. Oh and Mio doesn't have caffeine or BVO. Bonus!
The only downfall has been Macy. Macy has a strong concern for having a high sugar drink available to her in case of a low blood glucose. Which does happen 2 or more times a week. So far Capri suns have sufficed. (But I would love to rid ourselves of those too!) Juice is difficult to use for low blood glucose because 1. its perishable, 2. if frozen it takes too long to prepare for a low, 3.its also very expensive to always have on hand, and 4. having it on hand at all times means the children are drinking high sugar juice on a consistent basis.
I am thinking we will just switch to sugar water. Sugar water flavored with Mio. Ha ha ha ha (and juice boxes stashed in the car for on the go emergencies).
I am so very proud of my family for putting forth the effort and trying new things to reduce their soda intake. They have done a great job! (depending on the day we go from a 5 against 2 and 2 against 5 for the no soda in the house).
So how about you? How much soda do you and your family drink? Are you willing to admit its too much? It doesn't make you a bad parent you know? Its like fast food, the more you eat the unhealthier it is. Once in awhile is no biggie. (don't get me started on the fast food thing...bleh!) Have you considered a switch? Did you know there are products like Mio out there?
I would love to hear your opinions and comments. Just remember there is a no judgement and no conversions rule here... everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs.