They Served WHAT at the Kid’s Birthday Party?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

For those doing the #30WriteNow October Challenge, how’s it coming along? Let’s keep it going! We’ve got a new prompt (if you need it) for Day Three: HUNGER. Get busy, y’all.


Over the weekend on Twitter (wait, are you following me yet?), one parent was tweeting from a kid’s birthday party. He said that he was the only parent who objected to the pizza and soda the kids were served. First, he was the only parent not down with this? And next, SODA?? At a children’s party??

Curious, I asked him how old the kiddos were, thinking he’d say something teenage-y.

Ummm, the kids were FOUR AND SIX! That’s four and six years old. Basically babies. And someone was serving up soda to these little folks. American adults drink plenty of soda. And by plenty, I mean more soda than anyone else in the world.

See for yourself! Thanks to Slate and The New American Foundation, here’s a map of soda consumption in 80 countries.

The average American buys 170 liters of soda per year. And, according to a recent Gallup Poll, nearly 50 percent of Americans drink at least one glass of soda every single day. Things are not much better in Kid World. In a CNN story early this spring, Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, at Children’s Hospital in Boston, said that  many children are “consuming 300 calories per day or more” just in sugary beverages.

Look, I’m not trying to stand on a soapbox (OK, a little, but I’m getting down real soon), because when it comes down to it, we — the adults — already know this stuff. We know that soda is not helping our health. We know what high-fructose corn syrup is doing to us. We’ve read about the dangers hiding in sugar. We’re aware.

Why we continue to ease on down the unhealthy road, though? That’s a whole other post—or a couple of books, frankly. We could get into the “choice” and “free will” factors of it, I’m sure. But the kids? There’s no sound argument for why children (4 and 6!) should have soda on any menu. Sorry. Because, no.

All right, I’m off the soapbox. Just shove it under the chair by the violin for me, will ya.

Back to Twitter and the chat this birthday party/soda things started. A few people weighed in, agreeing that soda was not a good look for young kids. One mother said she offers those chubby mini bottles of water and Honest Kids juice pouches at birthday parties, and the children (and parents!) love it.

We’ve been limiting our son’s juice/juice box intake, but when he does have it, I’m reaching for something from Honest Tea. Nope. No one sent me a roll of quarters to say that. I like that the kids’ drinks are organic, low on the sugar, and I can pronounce all of the ingredients on the short list. And they just improved the formula, removing the organic cane sugar. Now the drinks are sweetened only with fruit juice.

So, why am I telling you this? Well …


The generous folks at Honest Tea will award THREE lucky winners with all five cartons of the new juice pouches (that’s 40 pouches total, per winner!).

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment down below or on MMM’s FB page about what you drank as a kid, and I’ll randomly select THREE winners next week.

  • 1
    Nicole H. says:

    When younger, mostly just water and milk. Not til teens did I drink pop. And then it was way too much!

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Wait, you called it “pop.” That’s what we call it in Canada!

  • 2
    Anne says:

    I drank lots of water. Occasional lemonade and chocolate milk. I do also remember Kool ade

  • 3
    Kristin says:

    I drank milk. Milk. And more milk. Whole! I think there was also some Kool-Aid in there when I went to friends’ houses.

    I don’t have a problem with pizza – we order it once a week (whole wheat crust makes it a teensy bit better) – and we serve it at our own birthday parties with a selection of veggies. I’m curious what the other dad serves to a large group of kids for lunch. Do tell!

    However, kids have never had soda. Luckily, they don’t like bubbly drinks, so it’s not a battle. Of course, we drink seltzers and mineral water – but not soda. So they just don’t see it.

    Sugar (and even diet) Soda is evil in so many ways. Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of juices either. I’ve found the V8 Splash and the toddler-watered-down juices have the least amount of sugar. Now that they’ve made this change, I need to check the Honest Tea; I’ll bet it’s competitive.

    Thanks for letting me know!

    • 3.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Oh, I don’t have a problem with pizza. Whole wheat crust, veggies, healthy tomato from the sauce — all good. (Mind you, I’m not down with the stuffed-crust craziness that some of the chains are pimping.) Plus, pizza seems to be the easy fix at parties where there are so many preferences to sort through.

      It’s the soda that I’ve got beef with. It’s crazy. There are plenty of issues with juice too — the sugar, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, xanthum gum — it’s a problem. My kid drinks water (lots at preschool) and loves his milk. He gets a small amount of orange juice in the morning with breakfast, and at dinner a juice box or milk. That juice box will be Honest Kids or Mott’s for Tots Apple Juice <-- It's cut with water, so much less sugar. Actually, I'm kind of surprised at the not-quite-juice that is often served at these parties, though.

  • 4
    Nailah says:

    I remember drinking a lot of juice when I was little. We had soda but it was a special occasion type thing.

  • 5
    Jenna says:

    I drank a lot of water and iced tea when I was young.

  • 6
    Rachel says:

    Since my dad owned a convenience store, I drank a lot of free soda when I was a kid. More Than I should have. I also drank a lot of water, milk, and tea though, too.

    • 6.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Goodness! Your dad owned a convenience store? I can’t imagine. :-)

  • 7
    Alyssa says:

    I wasn’t allowed to drink soda as a kid! We had to drink a glass of milk with every meal. Even as an adult, I don’t drink soda which I know is a lot better for me anyways!

  • 8
    Quiana says:

    I was only allowed to have clear soda occasionally (it was called pop in the midwest where I’m from) but I remember drinking mostly Kool-Aid. It’s amazing I never had cavities as a kid!