Red 40, Sugar, HFCS Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink
October 05, 2012
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!
(Both to the bottle and my fresh pedicure, yes.)
(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 random.org) 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.