It's Hard Out There For A Baby Ike
The Man on the Metro

Red 40, Sugar, HFCS Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink

This post is sponsored by the Brita Bottle for Kids.

If I may be obnoxiously braggy for a second...

AUDIENCE: Oh, just for a "second?" Really? As opposed to...

Shut up! You all just shut up. Yes, for a second. Start the clock: None of my children drink soda. 

See? If you read that sentence fast enough, I am pretty sure you could get through it before the end of one-Mississippi. 

The thing is, none of my children drink soda because they don't like it. Noah and Ezra have both taken exactly one sip of soda in their entire lives, and to this day remember it as a horrible moment, a total betrayal of their faith in delicious, refreshing liquids. The second the carbonation touched their innocent tongues they shrieked and...well, I wouldn't say they spat it out as much as they simply opened their mouths wide and stared at me helplessly as the soda dribbled off their tongues and all over the table. 

They both refused to touch anything "bubbly" after that. Which is great. My soda = bubbly. My special wine-juice = oh, you know that's bubbly. 

Which is great. Soda is terrible for kids. Terrible for...well, everybody, really, and oh how I wish I could similarly recoil from a cold can of Coke, or at least be able to have it in my house without drinking it (followed by two more in rapid succession). I would be very, very happy if my children never picked up the habit and remained blissfully unaware that there are beverage choices beyond water, milk or watered-down juice. You know, for special occasions.

(God, doesn't our house sound like fun and a half.)

While I'm aware that eventually, it's all going to be out of my hands, I would very much like to live in my little dreamy-dream world of only healthy beverage options for at LEAST a little while longer. But it's already getting challenging. We went to a birthday picnic a couple weeks ago where the only drink choices for the kids (who were all in the toddler-to-age-six range) were red Kool-Aid pouches and cans of orange soda. 

Okay, health food snobbery aside, the fact is that Noah in particular CANNOT have that stuff. Artificial coloring and his little nervous system do not play nicely together. It makes him hyper, unfocused and incredibly anxious. But there we were, out on a playground on a hot humid day, and he was thirsty. The adults had already laid claim to a small stash of bottled water for themselves (or for their kids, since I swear I wasn't the only stick-in-the-mud who blanched at the idea of giving Kool-Aid to my child on top of the already endless cake and ice cream and candy). 

The only options I saw were giving in and letting him drink the red stuff and deal with the behaviorial consequences...or hoisting him up to take drinks some a somewhat suspect-looking water fountain near the park's bathrooms. 

Confession: I told Noah the juice pouches were bubbly and took him to the water fountain. 

So that's where I was, awkwardly holding up my 50+ pound child while still locked in a mental battle over which was worse: Red 40 or all of the GOD KNOWS WHAT in the water, when another mom came over to wait behind us. 

She had a water bottle with her. She unscrewed the cap and filled it up a the fountain, and I realized what it was. I realized what it was because I had JUST THAT WEEK agreed to write a sponsored post about one. (The post you are reading right now! So meta! So Neo-in-The-Matrix-saying-WHOA and stuff.)

It was a Brita Bottle for Kids, with a built-in water filter. You know, the exact sort of thing I would have killed to have in my bag that day. Mine was still in the mail.

It arrived a couple days later. Yay!

Photo (57)


(Both to the bottle and my fresh pedicure, yes.)

Photo (58)


(WHAT? It was my first pedicure since right before Ike's due date. I'm a little jazzed about my return to non-Hobbit-feet-ville, okay?)

Anyway, it's a brilliant little jobby thing. I love that I don't have to risk the contents of my bag getting soaked by hauling water around in "spill-proof" sippy cups (HA HAHAHAHAHA) and that I can fill it up anywhere, as many times as I need to (the filters last about two months). Since Ike isn't yet proficient with the sports-style spout, I bring a take-n-toss cup with a spout or straw for him then squirt filtered water into that. (Which isn't nearly as high-maintenance diva-ish as it sounds, since the water is filtered instantly and fills his cup up in a few seconds.)

No more over-priced, wasteful bottled water from vending machines, no more lamenting over non-healthy sugary beverage options, and no more babbling like a crazy person to other moms at the water fountain over their brilliant cup solution and that MINE'S IN THE MAIL MINE'S IN THE MAIL WAIT WHERE ARE YOU GOING I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS AN AWESOME COINCIDENCE IS ALL. 

P.S. Ezra got his hands on a Kool-Aid pouch at the party and proceeded to drink at least three of them. He was a PEACH and a HALF the rest of the day. A hyper, shrieky, radioactive peach. OMG. 

Brita has offered me five additional bottles to give away to you guys. Leave a comment on this post between now and next Friday and I will randomly select five comments (via the robot at and then you, too, can be the weirdo on the playground shrieking about your magic filter cup being in the mail. Or, you know, you can be cool about it. Totally your call. 

This post is sponsored by the Brita Bottle for Kids. Learn more at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Brita is teaming up with non-profit Alliance for a Healthier Generation to encourage kids to swap out sugary beverages and drink more water. As part of their partnership with the Alliance, Brita will donate more than 4,000 Brita Bottles for Kids to schools across the country to encourage healthy habits in their students.



ooohhh we'd love one of these. My husband always has a metal water bottle on him that the kids drink up but I'd love one with a filter. I don't know why but other places fountain/faucet water always seems sketchy.


I have the adult version. I've had it for about a year now. And it is the best invention ever!

Seriously, I'm totally in love with it. I might go buy the kid one because it's cuter.


Loved the story--been there! Pick me pick me :)


I would love that for my boy. Great post.


I may not be a health food diva like yourself, but I too would like the splendor of a magic water bottle, for my little people. Incidentally, we have changed our family's diet substantially and are now cooking from fresh ingredients, not canned. What a difference!


Oh, I am SO that weirdo on the playground that would rather drink from a lead-laden faucet than let my 6 year old have coloring or HFCS. Glad there's another one of me out there! PS - The Brita water bottle would be AMAZING!


Now if only they could filter out Red 40 and HFCS....


What a nifty thing. Looks great!


What a fabulous contraption! Tot has had a tiny bit of a lemon lime soda. He loved it. Fortunately, we don't keep soda in the house or I'd be in trouble!


Oooh! Yes please!! Love the Matrix-moment in the post, btw. ;)

Jenny Balbaugh

Sounds like a neat little water bottle to have. I will have to look into getting my daughter one. Thanks for the post :)


Oooh, I would LOVE one of those!! We only drink milk and water in our house, too.

Carol Trader

Dear robot,
Please, pick me! I would love to win a Brita bottle for kids. Totally genius! Plus, I would love to be that non-struggling "mom at the park" with the cool gear, for once.


i want to buy several for my future children. Is that wrong?


Oooh, I love the idea of a built in filter! And my boys seem to drink more water when it's served in a cool water bottle!


This would be great for my kids. My kids know about soda (and they drink sprite more than i would like), but they won't touch coke (or caffeinated drinks) because we told them it will stunt their growth. ;)


Oooh, the built-in filter. Fancy! Love it.


You're not the only stick-in-the-mud. I've loosened up a little on sugar in general, but my kids (who sadly don't hate sugar water) are going to have brain-explody moments when they're big enough to realize some kids drink that crap all the time. Basically anything in the "sugar water" category (kool-aid, soda, capri suns, those nasty barrel shaped bottles of nastiness that I used to crave in my lunch box as a kid) is taboo for minors at our house. Ironically, I can't live without my one can of Dew a day, and my husband got the evil eye for polishing off half a carton of Coke Zero in 24 hours. (SERIOUSLY DUDE? six cans?!)
I have mixed results on blocking sugar elsewhere.
My son had had two popsicles in his entire life up till the age of three. My barely-3yo daughter, on the other hand, now asks to go outside so she can get hot so she has an excuse to ask for popsicles. (I think I may have overdone it a little this summer.)
Anyway, they drink water like good little hippies but the water in this town is nasty. I've been here 7 years, and I still can't bring myself to drink the tap water. Maybe I need one of those bottles for myself...

Jen L.

Ooh, me! I want to be a playground weirdo! Wait..
My son also hates soda. He had a bad experience with gingerale as a two-year-old. He is actually sort of strange--he will only drink juice if it's diluted. No complaints from me, though.


OMG - I want one for my little guy AND for myself! Things like this make me want to smack myself and ask why I didn't come up with this idea myself. Hello, early retirement!


Another water bottle for the kids is always welcome at our house! Send me one!!!


The built in filter is genius!


My older two kids were SodaIsWorkofDevil until they were about 10 or so. Now they LOVE soda but I don't buy it and keep it in the house unless we've had a party recently. My younger two still don't like soda at all, so I just take our own water bottles because I've been to way too many parties where there was nothing for my kids to drink to count. We'd love one of those!


Oh I would totally use one of these!


I am trying to get away from the expectation that sippy cups always come with watered down juice. Actually, I'm trying to get past sippy cups altogether. Something like this would be perfect for our on the go lifestyle. Also, I'm totally jealous of your pedicure. Sadly, this is one of the things in the want, not need category of the budget and it just isn't happening at the moment. :-(

Kim The Avid Reader

I want one of these for myself! How cute is the kid version?!


I want one because my kids do drink soda (occasionally. Not at home, but at school where no one seems to understand that NO CHILD NEEDS SODA, LEAST OF ALL AT SCHOOL!). Whew, I feel better, thanks. Bitches. They give candy too and my children seem to randomly lose the ability to just say no. We're gonna have a hell of a time when they're presented with weed.

We're trying to push water onto them (outside of the watered down juice, outside of my screaming get the 100% juice, buy the one with no sugar added WOULD YOU JUST LISTEN WE ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN). Plus, I live in DC. Bam! I just won unless you want my whole family to die of lead poisoning from the Anacostia.

Also, my feet look like I walked through chalk, then flour. It's been so long I might try to make out with whoever does my next pedicure.


I would love to win a bottle for my daughter!


Oh how I hate having a sippy cup spill in my purse!


I would love one for my sweet girl! She drinks water like a camel!


I want one! My kids don't like soda too much either, but it does get harder as they approach 8-9 yrs old and see everyone else drinking it.


These look awesome!


Oh, I would use the heck out of one of these. Or three :)

Sarah Yah Y

This would be great for my daughter. And not to be a kill joy- but who serves orange soda at a young kids birthday party? Isn't the cake enough?


Would love this for my 3 year old! (and hilarious post, by the way - I am a total drink snob and would probably have a fit if I saw KoolAid being served).

Cindy G

Would Love this for my grandson.

Jen K.

My kids have the same reaction to soda -- one sip, horrible face, and then "no" if anyone offer them any. Yay for nasty bubbles!


Whoa, I had no idea those existed. I want one!

Heidi T

I totally need this bottle! We are everywhere and we don't give soda or non-juice drinks to our kids.


What a great idea! So easy!


like it. my kids don't even drink juice unless they're sick.


Oh, this would be great! If it helps any, I didn't drink soda growing up and never acquired the taste for it, so if you start out avoiding it you have a pretty good chance that they won't like it. Our almost-one-year-old hasn't had any soda yet and, if I have my way, she won't for years.


Love this idea! My daughter has never had soda and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible!


I love my Brita pitcher. Best water ever that doesn't come in a plastic bottle. ONe of my nephews is a total soda hound while the other sees soda as something you get at resturants and then tell the waiter that he doesn't want the refils can he just have water please. LOL he would love that bottle.


Yup, I need that. So does the kid...sure it's for her. I promise I won't just snag it for myself. Promise!


I want one! I can't even fathom the amoeba colony living in my child after the number of times we've used the tap. It boggles the mind.


Water for everyone! I usually don't remember to pack water since my daughter is still nursing BUT having a water bottle like this on deck for later (or for me right now!) would be awesome. Consider me entered.


Water for everyone! I usually don't remember to pack water since my daughter is still nursing BUT having a water bottle like this on deck for later (or for me right now!) would be awesome. Consider me entered.


Oh! Me! I want one for meee! Well, my three year old, but he can't write yet.


Oh, that would be perfect at baseball games when other parents only bring super sugary beverages, whcih the boy definitely does not need.

(I say this as I work for the company that produces your big red can of goodness and drink the diet version at my desk right now.)


Oh, I'd love one of those - I've used a similar one myself and need to get back in the habit for all of us.


sounds great! So, it doesn't leak then? It seems like all water bottles I have gotten for my kid leak...


Ooooo mr. Cotter pick me, pick me!


Oooh, cool. I'm so annoyed at how sippy cups leak but it never occurred to me that Callum could drink out of a water bottle instead. Such a good idea!

Amy K

Wow, my toddler would love one of those!


oh, me me me! i'd love to have one of these magical water bottles for my son Owen! and i promise i'd only steal it like once a month!


What a great idea!


I would love this for my son! (And maybe for myself a little too.) I really hope the robot picks me.


Oh, those are awesome. I would LOVE one.


I almost NEED one of these. Or 4. Great idea.


My kids hate soda too! "The bubbles hurt mom." "Yes, child. They are actually tiny horned monsters that bite your tongue." We should be good for a few more years I think.


I wanna be the weirdo at the playground too!


I'd love one of these! Thanks. :-)


Love, love, love this idea! Pick me, pick me!


these look awesome!


I have never been all that strict with what my kids eat (I've been lucky as they both love veggies, fruits, and lean meats) but I just realized that I have never given them Kool-aid. It hasn't been on purpose and I feel really accidentally healthy right now. :) And that bottle is faboo, btw.


What an awesome idea! I

Kris W

I would LOVE this! I hate hauling around extra bottled water just in case!


My twins are still on the boob, so we don't need to worry about beverages...yet. But we will very very soon. May I have 2 please?


Ooh! That sounds like such an awesome idea! I'd love to win one! For the kids of course *shifty eyes* Sounds like Brita definitely found the right writer to partner with!
And yeah, hear you on the sippy pouches/juice boxes - turns my non-sensitive little angels (snort) into hellions.


I totally want to be the weirdo on the playground!


OMG I need one. or 10.


What a great tired of finding water and water logged things in my purse, car, etc. and trying to avoid sugar filled drinks.


I'm so glad Noah didn't need to drink the devil's juice. Brita to the rescue!


I'd love to win one, thanks!

Stacy P.

Would love to have one of these for my kid!


You showed me something I was totally unaware existed. And I am unnaturally excited about it! My kid is also of "the bubbly is bad" camp and I like it that way. The look on the face of all waiters when my 6 year old voluntarily orders water in a restaurant is priceless. Thanks and pick me, pick me!


I have never given my little guys soda or kool aid. My teens now drink friends houses! I would love this bottle for my two year old.


This sounds cool, my husband uses the adult version and loves it. My baby Ike-age baby could use it at some point.


I would LOVE to have one of those water bottles!! We are constantly carrying around leaky "spill proof" sippies so our son will have healthy options to drink no matter where we are.


Killer. WANT!


This would totally come in handy for my 3 year old...way to go Brita! Oh and're super cool too.


I usually only buy soda and fruit punch for my kids' birthday parties. Somehow I've never realized it was weird, especially since at home the kids only drink water, milk, and watered-down juice and I drink water almost exclusively. We rarely keep soda in the house at all. Huh. Clueless parent, right here!


That sounds like an awesome doohickey!

Sadly, my sons like soda. I, however, hate it, so I told them they can have it as often as I do. Which is never. Happily, they have not asked for the same deal for coffee. (Cooofffeeeee)


I have the adult version of that and LOVE it. I would love some for the kids tho, cause unfortunately the filter doesn't filter out kid cooties.

Jenn H.

Ooh! Have seen those and contemplated purchase... Just haven't pulled the trigger. But FREE would be even better! Pick me!! ;)

Jen B

This would be great for my toddler. I hate those "spill-proof" sippy cups!


So cool! My kids would love these.


Oooh I've seen the ads for these... perfect for the playground :)


Pick us! Pick us, ramdon robot!! I've wanted to buy one of these for my son, but they are always sold out amy local t*rget! I guess that's a good sign, right?


It's been five years since my last (and only) pedicure. This bottle sounds like a brilliant idea since I still picture fellow classmates in elementary school putting their whole mouth on the drinking fountain faucet. gross.


I'd love one of these! My 2-year-old loves water -- he definitely doesn't drink soda -- but he's always stealing my bottle of water! He needs his own!


Pick me! Pick me! =)


Wow, cool! I already carry a stainless steel bento around so... I already look weird.


Yeah, my kid drinks soda. But also milk. and I've stopped getting juice pouches and added in more water. this would work great for us. Fingers crossed for the random number robot to pick me!!!


These are GREAT. I saw them yesterday for the first time and knew I had to get them. It would be awesome if I actually won one.


I've had two of the adult version already. I keep losing that little top that covers the spout.


Yes, please!


Sounds pretty cool!


Built in filter is brilliant!

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