If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ve wondered if your children are consuming too much sugar. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, the dangers of sugar are really well known. They include weight gain, of course, but also diabetes and other serious health problems. This is why I try to get my son to drink water instead of sugary soda, juices and avoid artificial sweeteners.
As a way to avoid sugar, it can be tempting to turn to artificial sweeteners instead. Most times, the messages that marketing firms tell us would seem to indicate that these products reduce (or eliminate) the dangers of sugar. They promise weight reduction—without the health hazards. These claims are just plain wrong. Artificial sweeteners do contain calories. And, they are refined sugar, so the health consequences are still untested.
A lot of the public health data can be confusing to understand. But, in very simple terms, here’s what the Harvard School of Public Health says about artificial sweeteners: it’s best for kids to avoid them.
That’s a big statement—that kids should avoid artificial sweeteners. So often, those come in the form of drinks, like juices that claim to have “zero sugar” or like “diet sodas.” Even the sweeteners that claim to be natural come with big problems. Because of the way labeling works, the term “natural” can be misleading. These products are refined like other processed foods. This means they may have health risks associated with them.
And when it comes to kids, artificial (and “natural”) sweeteners can have another big risk. They can make kids develop a habit and a craving for sweet things. Before you know it, your kids will be asking for more and more sweet things.
That’s why we don’t use any sweeteners (artificial or “natural”) with Tickle Water. Our list of ingredients is as simple as it gets: water and natural flavor. To make it fun, we add bubbles—but no sweetener.
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