Do you ever give your kids a can of soft drink?

Mum shared, “We were in a fast food cafe and there was a family with young children drinking cans of soft drink.

“My kids asked if they could also have one. My hubby and I do drink Sprite No Sugar but try and do it surreptitiously without drawing the kids attention to it.

“But am I being hypocritical by not allowing my kids to have fizzy drink? Is it really that bad?”

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Mums respond

I think as with anything moderation is the key. Lots of mums said it was OK as a treat and on special occasions. While others disagreed that it really shouldn’t be given to young children at all.

Tash said, “Very very rare…they’re not good for you or the kids…you can be mean mum …when they’re adults they’ll either thank you or binge …either way you’ve done all you can.”

Hala made a good point, “Some occasional food and drinks don’t harm. They should learn to consume some at occasions only! That teaches them to self control.”

Nikki shared, “Personally, i have never allowed nor will i allow my children to drink soft drink. But everyone is different.. totally your choice!”

Elisha said, “Everything in moderation. My kids are 9 and 10 and most definitely don’t have it regularly but if we go out for a meal or get takeaway they are allowed a fizzy drink. I believe everything in moderation is perfectly fine.”

Alicia wrote, “Everything in moderation. My 2.5yr & 4yr old are allowed to share a can of lemonade etc every so often.
I’ve found in social situations my kids will have a sip or 2 of their fizzy drink & walk away from it to play etc, while the kids who never get it tend to drink the whole lot in one go & ask for more. Same goes for potato chips, sugary treats etc etc.”

Penny said, “Very very rarely and mostly only at parties. Definitely no coke! It shocks me when i see kids younger than 9 drinking coke with their parents letting them!”

Courtney admitted, “I don’t see a issue every now then as a treat it’s the same as lollies and chocolate etc everything is ok in moderation.”

While Chrissy disagreed, “I won’t be allowing soft drink till they’re mid teens… don’t feel bad. It’s your job to look after those little bodies until they can make informed decisions for them selves.”

What the experts say

The Australian Dietary Guidelines do not recommend the consumption of sugar sweetened drinks such as soft drinks, cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin-style waters, flavoured mineral waters, energy and sports drinks.

Fruit and vegetable juices contain sugars that are found naturally in fresh fruits and vegetables, but become very concentrated when made into juice.

Children do not need any fruit or vegetable juice to have a balanced and healthy diet. Encouraging children to eat the whole fruit or vegetable, and drink plain tap water or milk rather than juice is the best way to establish good eating habits early.

Limit artificially sweetened soft drinks

Some soft drinks contain artificial sweeteners instead of added sugar. Artificially sweetened drinks add very little energy (kilojoules) to the diet and therefore, do not contribute directly to weight gain. However, artificially sweetened drinks still maintain the ‘habit’ of drinking sweet drinks and do not add nutritional value to a healthy diet.

The acidity of drinks, whether sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and the frequent consumption of them, may contribute to tooth erosion and decay. For good oral health encourage children to drink plain tap water throughout the day.

Join our Facebook discussion below:

  • A little is Ok when out and at parties.


  • It’s never really in the house for our son to see us drinking it and wanting it, and we dont give it to him when out either. The closest he has come to fizzy drink is some soda water with a dash of juice in it s a treat , but he mostly drinks water.


  • I never had it in the house as an everyday item. But for birthdays or Xmas I let them have a small glass, not a whole can to themselves either.


  • Nope! I mean, on special occasions, but as a rule we never ever have it in the house. As a result, our kids never ask for soft drink.


  • I never have it in the house, our main drink is water and sometimes a cup of milk. I do make a smoothie from fresh chopped up fruit and we use mango puree on yoghurt.
    When my kids attend a party, they may get a soft drink and I’m ok with that. I don’t get it myself when I organise a party.


  • Only very very rarely, Perhaps for a party. I don’t like it in the house. Usually it’s water or orange juice.


  • Used to have it at their birthday only. Sugar should always be as limited as possible and so also salt.


  • My child did have soft drink, probably when he was at school age. In moderation, he would have it at a party, etc. However, I had issues with a sister/his Aunt who prided herself on having a cupboard/pantry/fridge full of crap so she could feed my son junk and appear to him to be the best Aunty. It drove me insane and we had to coach our son on what he should have, and also to deal with the after effects of the worst sugar rush. I also had a sister-in-law who gave her child, a toddler at the time, panadol in a bottle of coke. I was mortified and cannot imagine any time when that would be okay. Our son enjoys water and many drink options now and as we don’t have soft drinks readily on-hand in our home, it’s certainly not a go-to option for him.


  • No way! It’s so bad for you – I hardly ever drink it. My kids are 3 and 6 and are extremely lucky if they get a cordial or sparkling apple a few times a year. I don’t think I’ve ever given them soft drink.


  • My girls had to be double digits before they could have any and even then it is once in a while. They still have water or occasionally juice with lunch.


  • Every now and then it’s ok


  • Everything in moderation so when out for a meal or at a party yes but daily – no.
    There’s far too much sugar in those drinks.


  • No don’t drink soft drink and never gave them to my child. My son did not try one until when he was about 10 and first thing he said was it was very sweet, never asked for it again. I hate to see babes in prams drinking soft drinks, what a way to set them up for bad health choices. When I grew up it was party drink only.


  • As children we were allowed soft drinks about when my youngest sister was about 9, I was about 14 and it was for Christmas only or at birthday parties. Mum would buy a crate of soft drink from the man who went around selling them. That was 12 bottles over the summer holidays for 4 children and making sure there was 6 bottles for company on Christmas Day. My children only have it on special occasions. The three older ones as adults drink when they like. The others do not really like it and even fruit juices are not allowed. They drink water or fruit flavoured water. My teen daughter just drinks water and at times she has her friends trying to get her to drink other things but she refrains from it.


  • We were bought up with soft drink but we now know the right choices for younger ones!


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