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Your opinion? Teenagers and soda.

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • 35 Replies

Hi all,
I would love to get your opinions. As our kids get older, it seems that dh and I disagree more on things to do with them, especially discipline etc. He has agreed that if I post questions on here and see what other people think that it would be easier for us to get to a common ground if we have a better understanding of what other people might do. And so, I am hoping to post a number of questions with some of the conflict we have and disagreements we have about how we are raising our kids, to get opinions from other parents and hopefully that will help us have less disagreements. I understand that each family is unique but there are some times where it helps to know general opinion.

So here goes with my first question and I would love to know what you think.

My dh drinks LOT of soda! It is what he calls "healthy" soda. It is a very expensive, one dollar per can, carbonated soda sweetened with Stevia or, called Zevia. Dh says it is "healthy" and it's fine to drink unlimited amounts. He drinks between five and eight cans per day every day and has done so for over three years now. He never drinks water. The first thing he opens up as he wakes up in the morning is a can of this soda and he drinks it all day. I have given up on that battle because not only do I think it is unhealthy for him to drink so much but it is also costing us a fortune and he will absolutely not reduce the amount he drinks because he says it helps him with his weight control ......   

So this is my question. Our ds has just turned 13. He models a lot of his behavior on dad. And so now he wants to wake up in the morning and drink this Zevia soda, and drink soda right before bed etc. I have tried very hard to get him to limit this soda drinking to one can per day and not in the morning or right before bed. Dh disagrees with me and says that because it is "healthy" soda that Ds should be able to drink more and there is no problem with him drinking it first thing in the morning with breakfast or as he's going to bed! I completely disagree. I have said that I think it is a bad habit to allow children to develop, drinking soda the moment they wake up and before bed. And dad is teaching him that he can use this soda for weight control! All around I think it is teaching bad habits and DH just doesn't agree with me and doesn't get it.    I work VERY hard with my kids and my health and eating healthy....   and I don't mind a little soda but the first thing when waking and at bed time?  And dh thinks unlimited amounts are OK. 

Please help. We have many other things about raising teenagers where we disagree, this is just one of the first concrete things I thought I would ask you all about. What are your opinions? What do you allow your kids to do? My DH thinks it's all okay because it's "supposedly healthy soda".

by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:02 AM
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by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:55 AM
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Well, your DH won't like my answer at all.  We do not have any soda in our house and my exH is a diet soda junkie.  I taught my daughter from an early age that soda is disgusting and she still agrees (13 years old) so that works well.  Here's the problem and it's really very well documented AND I can attest to it from drinking Propel -- when you drink something with a sweetener or artificial sweetener of any sort it triggers something in your brain to want more sweets and carbs.  I usually only drink water -- had a few propels because they are so good and found that I was also suddenly craving sweets and carbs.   If his soda also has caffeine, that may be his "addiction" and it's hard to get off of -- reducing by one soda a day for a week, then remove another, etc. will be much better on him and you otherwise he'll be very grumpy.  Breakfast should be a protein laden shake (assuming you don't have time or want to make a nice egg, veggie and meat breakfast every day).  My daughter says the protein shake that I make for her with chocolate almond milk keeps her full until lunch.  

by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM
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I can't say I know much about the soda in general but I wouldn't call any soda healthy. There might be soda that is better for you but it still isn't healthy. Personally I would make sure your son understands that and that he limits the amount, good teeth brushing, and drinking plenty of water is also a must. Maybe have him research it to get a better understanding of exactly what is healthy about it (good for his study skills also).
In general I would say if it isn't harmful or over done let him have it as a treat. It's all about balance at my house.
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM
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I'm not going to be helpful to your DH either. We didn't allow DS to have soda until he was in middle school - and even then I didn't keep much in the house. It was mainly a treat or he had it when we had dinner out.To this day, he's a water and milk kind of guy - I buy 3 gallons of milk per week. We always joke that he could rip off an arm and use it as a baseball bat because his bones have to be so strong from all that milk :)

My DH on the other hand, had a serious pepsi problem, which I couldn't do anything about since they stocked it at work. A few years ago, my sister bought him a soda stream. He started making himself flavored water in it. Instead of getting the soda mixers, he got some light flavorings, puts just a bit of that in and drinks mainly carbonated water. He even has one at work, and hasn't had a pepsi in probably 2 years. That may be a solution for your DH. And for your son.

by Susie on Aug. 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM
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You need to stop buying it for dh and your teenager. 

by New Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Quoting atlmom2:

You need to stop buying it for dh and your teenager. 

:-)    I wish it was as easy as me stopping buying  .... I definitely don't buy soda ever. DH buys it online by the caseful so I have no option. There are cases of it in the house at all times. And at $1 per can and the amount that is consumed... it is very expensive and a really bad example for DS. DD is 15yo and her and I won't touch any soda. I can't do anything about DH but am worried about DS developing bad habits. 

by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Nope. Not cool. Stevia isn't "healthy". In fact, I'd rather have actual sugar than artificial stuff.

We don't keep soda in the house, never have. Of my 4 kids, only two of them drink it. My oldest has never had soda save for one accidental sip at a b-day party when he was like, 6 which he hilariously spit out on the floor. My 15 year old is just a milk and water guy but he'll have some juice from time to time. (we don't have juice in the house all the time)

Your DS is 15. The ship has long sense sailed on creating good habits without effort. As in, if he had grown up in a house where there were limited options, he would love those options. Your DS is either going to have to want to change, or be forced to change by a change in his enviroment. And obviously, your DH is the key to the second option.

I think it's fair to talk to your DH about limiting his intake. I'm pretty sure it would only take some basic Googling to show him that what he is drinking isn't healthy and that he needs to add water into his beverage schedule. Maybe a set number of cans/bottles per day? Same for your DS. I think one a day for a teen is MORE than adequate.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:28 PM

We don't have soda in the house on a regular basis either, only on special occasions.  I don't care what he is trying to tell you, it isn't healthy at all.  I completely agree with PP who said that artificial sweeteners don't help you lose weight, but trigger something in your brain that makes you crave sweets and carbs.  I can honestly tell when I drink something with artificial sweetener in it because I get a serious case of the munchies.

I have a serious caffeine addiction.  I used to drink nearly 2 gallons of sweet tea a day.  Sweetened with real sugar, a cup per gallon.  A few years ago, I slowly began to put less and less sugar in my tea and I have been down to no sugar at all for nearly two years.  I've also been slowly cutting back on my caffeine intake and am down to a gallon a day.

So I am far from perfect, however, I try very hard to make sure that my children don't follow my bad habits.

by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I would have DS do a research paper on the effects of Stevia and other artificial sweetners and then share it with you and Dad. These alternatives are really not as healthy as manufacturers want you to believe. I would also set up a family visit to a nutritionist or dietician to get their input. 

My DH and I have opposite views of many things as well. Taking him to an outside party helps.

by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I drink Pepsi - that is my addiction. I drink one, sometimes two cans per day of the regular Pepsi. There are a LOT of days I do NOT have even one can, but if it is NOT in the fridge...then I MUST HAVE IT!  I refuse to do diet and have any kind of extra chemicals that cause cancer. I would rather be fat...LOL  The kids know they are NOT allowed to have it. They don't even ask!

Like Steel, we only have soda for the kids on special occasions. I do allow them to have it if we go out to eat. That is about once a week.

by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM
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I limit my teens to one can per day. And what the others are saying about artificial sweeteners (even Stevia) is true. My DH is a biologist and has access to the research journals and I've read the actual studies. Water would be so much more helpful to your DH in keeping weight off.

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