By now, most schools have done away with soda machines, opting for “healthier” choices instead. Just how healthy are your children’s options? This picture depicts some of the choices found in your children’s schools. If we were to compare a can of Live Wire Mountain Dew to some of these options, you would find there are 46 grams of sugar in a Live Wire Mountain Dew. There are also 46 grams of sugar in Kiwi Strawberry Snapple and S’mores Starbucks Frappuccino. There are approximately 51 grams of sugar in an Arizona Green Tea, 52 grams of sugar in PowerAde and Gatorade. While there is no sugar in the Sparkling Ice water, the acid found in this beverage (and multiple others) really does a number on your teeth. Now, if you look at calorie content, you will find Live Wire Mountain Dew has 170 calories per can. Kiwi Strawberry Snapple has 190 calories, Arizona Green Tea has 210 calories, S’mores Starbucks Frappuccino has 290 calories, both PowerAde and Gatorade contain approximately 200 calories each. It is interesting to note, PowerAde actually calls their calories “Energy”. Sparkling Ice water does not contain any calories, but the acid is still a concern for causing cavities. Aside from the Sparkling Ice water, who would have guessed Live Wire Mountain Dew would be the choice with the least amount of sugar and calories?! Don’t get me wrong, drinking soda is still not a good option. The sugar and acid found in a can of soda is really hard on teeth and cause many cavities.
Another trend among tweens and teens are the fun, frozen drinks offered at various coffee shops around town. I’m shocked at the amount of children consuming these drinks on a regular basis. Many request gift cards to Caribou, Starbucks, or Dunn Bros for birthdays or holidays. These coffee shops are often a meeting place for kids before and after school. Not only is there a huge financial expense to buying these drinks on a regular basis, but what is the expense to their health? If we were to compare this medium, dark chocolate Campfire Mocha Cooler to the same Mountain Dew Live Wire soda, you would find the Campfire Mocha Cooler has 113 grams of sugar and is 670 calories. That is nearly 2.5 times the amount of sugar and nearly 4 times the calories as a can of Live Wire Mountain Dew! Now what about the caffeine content? You will find 54 mg of caffeine in Live Wire Mountain Dew, Campfire Mocha Cooler has 110 mg of caffeine. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine is not a good idea for children. Adolescents should limit their intake of caffeine to less than 100 mg per day. According to pediatrician Roy Benaroch, MD, the big risks with these kind of drinks are jitteriness, insomnia, weight gain from the extra calories and cavities from the sugar.
It’s important to have a conversation with your tween or teen about good beverage choices. Find out what beverages they are consuming at school. Limit the amount of stops at their favorite coffee shops. Rethink what beverages you purchase for your home. Consider switching out the juice boxes or flavored waters in your child’s lunchbox for tiny bottles of plain water. Set a healthy example for your children. As our kids get older, it becomes harder and harder to monitor their food and beverage intake. We need to educated our children, help them make healthy choices. Ideally, children (and adults) would brush their teeth after meals. This is not always practical when kids are at school. According to Dr. Bomstad, if a child is unable to brush their teeth after lunch, they should swing by a drinking fountain and swish their mouths out. This will help cut down on the number of cavities your child gets. Sometimes it takes someone outside of the family to get through to your teen. If you would like to set up an appointment to have Dr. Bomstad or Dr. Karban speak with your child about their beverage choices, call 952-938-7746 or click HERE.