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How to Ween Your Kids Off Soda: 1800Dentist.com

There was a time during history that milk did a "body good" and water was a favorite beverage of choice. That changed once the concoction called "soda water" was first coined in 1798. Since then soda consumption has become the norm for the average Jane or Joe; the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), estimates that the average consumer has more than 600 12-ounce servings (12 oz.) of soda per year; teenagers and young kids are tbe biggest fans of sugar drinks more so than any other age group. That puts parents in the first line of fire for helping curb the limits.

According to the latest nutritional guide produced by the U.S. Government, individuals should instead opt to "Drink water instead of sugary drinks," as soft drinks may be refreshing, but also supply biggest source of empty calories in the average diet. Additionally excess soda consumption has been linked to a myriad of dental problems (including tooth decay, cavities and gum disease), health issues (including obesity and diabetes) and mental health issues including aggression in teenagers. Parents concerned about their children are encouraged to prevent their kids from sipping too much and 1800Dentist.com has some tips on how to do the deed.

Water With Meals

Many people subject themselves to days on the run mixed with multitasking and eating fast food. Sadly, this behavior is being passed down from generation from generation. Slowing down and taking the time to eat dinner as a family is one change to initiate as the process has been shown to have a multitude of benefits (including preventing kids from smoking, using illegal drugs and can help improve their grades ) and will encourage families "...to eat more vegetables and fruits -- and fewer fried foods, soda, and foods with trans fats," (http://children.webmd.com/guide/family-dinners-are-important).

Food and drink have always gone together hand in hand as sometimes a bit of liquid (combined with saliva) can help moisten food to help ease in its consumption. Some people are known for drinking tons of liquid during mealtimes and parents can ensure that their kids only drink water when they make family dinner a priority. The move is as simple as not putting soda on the table and instead filling a pitcher with clean-crisp water instead. When family members get thirsty and find that water is their only option, they will naturally make due.

Don't Buy It

Most parents of this generation have been raised knowing about the decades old soda war between Coke, Pepsi and other competitors; soft drink manufactures have spent billions of dollars trying win. Parents have to help fight their natural tendencies to listen to the big brains on Madison Ave and instead simple choose to ignore the messages and not buy pop.


The simple act of not keeping soda in a house will naturally force kids to choose another beverage. Plus, by skipping soda and relying on water, individuals can build a healthy nest egg. Depending on the type of soda consumed and how it is packaged (IE fountain drinks vs. bottles) soda can cost approximately $4 to $8 a gallon for an approximate annual savings amount ranging from $800 to $1,200.

Fake It By Making It

Parents who have provided their children with soda from an early age on may struggle most with weening their children off of soda. While "out of sight, out of mind" is a practical approach, it may end up with children screaming for the sweet stuff. Parents should stand their ground, skip pop and instead can make a healthier substitution courtesy of seltzer and 100 percent fruit juice.

Fizzy water (water containing carbon dioxide) is one of the great calorie free beverages of all time. Sparkling water is a significantly healthier choice than any flavored soda as the latter is known for depleting bone density and contributing to health issues such as obesity and tooth decay. Sparkling water is also far superior to club soda as that beverage has high levels of sodium and can prevent thirst from being quenched in the first place (http://www.self.com/fooddiet/2009/10/q-and-a-seltzer). A splash of orange juice, cranberry juice or natural fruit punch can help make a spritzer kid friendly!

The connection between soda consumption and a decline in health cannot be argued and that is why 1-800-DENTIST advises individuals to skip soda to save their teeth and well being. A visit to a dentist cannot only verify these facts, but a professional dental care provider can also provide tips on how to kick the soda habit once and for all.

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