Whenever we are in market, gym, restaurant, airport or railway station, the first thing we lay our hands on to quench our thirst is the bright coloured can of an aerated drink. As soon as the clip is pulled the hissing sound of soda is enough to soothe our dry throat. Children devour the aerated drinks in large quantities in birthday parties and travel excursions. Colas are a must have in the menu of a birthday party of a tot. Even we didn’t know how colas and junk food made a silent entry into our lives and have become an indispensable part of our lifestyle. It is so addictive for some children as well as adults that they have a voracious appetite for colas and gorge on it in large volumes. Sometime back I read an article that legend of Hindi cinema Amitabh Bachhan has strongly voiced his concern over the consumption of Pepsi. News was that due to excessive consumption of aerated drinks he suffered from abdominal colitis, after which he stopped drinking them. He explicitly stated to media that a young girl once asked him that why does he advertise for cold drinks as they are Poisons. This incident left him pondering over their harmful effects and he stopped advertising for brand Pepsi. There is a long list of adverse effects of drinking colas, some of them are-
- High sugar content increases calories intake.
- Tooth decay
- Increased heart attack and stroke risk
- Harmful ingredients like Aspartum Sodium cyclamate and Caffeine
- Alters the metabolism rate of body
- Increased bloating and acidity in stomach
- Bone damage and osteoporosis
- Kidney failures
- Increased risk of obesity and diabetes
We can try these 9 simple ways to refrain children from consuming colas-
- Follow it yourself– Do you think mere lecturing and giving gyan to your stripling will help then you are grossly mistaken.
- Provide substitutes– Introduce lemonade, aam panna, butter milk and soya milk to children. You can pack the substitutes where ever you go. Diet Sodas are also a big No.
- Add water to your cola or drink a glass of water before consuming cola. This will considerably reduce the consumption of soda.
- Downloading a calorie-tracking app-Know your calorie intake and then imagine how much exercise your body needs to burn those calories
- Transition with seltzer/ soda water. Atleast you know your sugar intake is controlled and you are safe from harmful ingredients.
- Make water interesting– add a slice of apple, lemon, sprig of coriander/ mint, frozen strawberry to water and keep in refrigerator for everyday consumption.
- Work on a daily basis and keep marking the calendar. Don’t think you will never drink a cola in your life. It is a difficult target.
- Be aware of withdrawal symptoms– You might experience headaches, irritability, fatigue or nervousness for few days. Be aware and calm, they will subside.
- Experiment and demonstrate– ‘Seeing is believing’ holds true in this case. Children can be explained the adverse effects of colas through these simple DIY experiments-
Experiment 1- Clean any old coin by dipping it into cola.
Step1- Take brass coins or any brass showpiece (suitable for experiment)
Step2– Place them in a container and dip them into coke for few hours.
Step3– The ingredients in the coke leave the brass item shining bright. You can see this experiment on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TBQboJEd-w
Let the kids think – Can you imagine how the cola cleans your body systems?
Experiment 2- Mixing milk and coke
Step1 – Take a 500 ml pet bottle of coke
Step 2- Pour some milk into it and tighten the lid.Leave it for 30-35 mins.
Step 3- Keep observing the changes happening inside the bottle and see the leftover in the end. You can see this experiment on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKPoQYevoLs
Let the kids think – Can you guess the ingredients of the beverage?
Experiment 3- Burnt utensil and coke
Step 1- Take a burnt pan or any utensil
Step 2- Leave coke on the burnt surface. For best results leave it overnight.
Step 3- Be amazed by the results. You can also clean rusted surfaces with coke. It is also effective in repelling insects, killing snails and slugs. Check on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7OdX42NjWQ .
If you want to watch more experiments then click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ejkOZXhfU
Hope this helps. Happy parenting!