Q: I don’t want my kids growing up drinking sugary sodas. Is not having it in the house enough to prevent this bad habit?
A: I do think that if you don’t expose your children to particular foods or drinks they are less likely to develop a taste for them but, at some point, you’ll need to be prepared to have an alternative. My kids did not grow up with sodas or juices available to them. They drink water and tea. Neither of them has a taste for anything carbonated but that could change as they become teens, of course! Not having had sugary drinks growing up they tend not to like overly sweet beverages or even desserts. However, if your kids already have a taste for sodas, you can try switching to one of the natural or organic brands out there and start with reducing their exposure to high fructose corn syrup. You can also mix things like iced tea with fruit juice to reduce the sugar and to help develop their palettes for less sugary products. Or, if you are really fans of carbonation, there are some do-it-yourself soda makers for home use that allow you to control the ingredients and use natural sweeteners instead. You can also try satisfying their urges with food. For some ideas on snacks you AND your kids can feel good about, check out 9 Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love.