Health

Know How much sugar is there in a can of cola : Healthier alternatives for your child

Shikha Batra
3 to 7 years

Created by Shikha Batra
Updated on Aug 08, 2022

Know How much sugar is there in a can of cola Healthier alternatives for your child

My daughter recently celebrated her thirteenth birthday. Since her birthday falls in the month of May when it’s unbearably hot, we decided to host her close friends and family at home itself. This being her thirteenth birthday and so all the more a special day for us, I decided to get creative and be particular about even the minutest details which included serving healthy snacks and drinks at the party. My daughter and I zeroed in on some healthy snacks such as murmura chaat, paneer tikka, crispy papadum with finely chopped veggies, atta momos, white sauce pasta loaded with veggies, crispy cheese balls (my daughters’ favorite dish) and sprouted daal ki chaat.  But when it came down to drinks she was adamant on serving colas as she was of the opinion that healthy drinks might not sound ‘cool’ to her friends and it  might not please their palates. The popular belief is, foods which are healthy might not be delicious. This was one notion about drinks which my girl believed in too and I completely disagreed with her on that. Since there was still a week left in the party I decided to take this as a challenge and do some research on colas in terms of its ingredients and their nutritive value. I told my daughter I would revert on this with some facts and figures which I am sharing with you all here too.

The two popular brands of fizzy drinks, let’s name them A and B.

Brand Name        Amount of Sugar per serving (g)        Calories per serving 

A                39                        150

B                41                        140

Maximum recommended sugar intake per day by age group:

  • From 11 years of age to  healthy adults can consume no more than 30 grams of free sugar each day (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes)

  • Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24 grams of free sugars a day (roughly equivalent to 6 sugar cubes)

  • Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19 grams of free sugars a day (roughly equivalent to 5 sugar cubes)

  • There is no guideline limit for children under four years of age, but it is recommended that children under the age of 4 should avoid sugar-sweetened drinks. 

Note: 

One needs to be label savvy to identify products  that are high in sugar and therefore these should not be consumed or even served to children. The figures on the nutrition label represent the total sugar which includes the added free sugars as well as those that are naturally occurring.

My daughter was equally shocked to learn that a can of cola can have as much as 9 cubes of sugar- which is even more than the recommended daily limit for adults. That’s when we  both decided to take up this challenge of serving healthier drinks which are yummier at the same time at the party. What made this challenge all the more interesting was that she got completely involved in this and chose the ingredients of the drinks herself after tasting them. We tried different combinations  and after much deliberation on their nutritive value, taste, appeal, etc. here are the final drinks that we served at the party:

  • Mint and lemon drink which is a simple, easy  and refreshing drink which involves squeezing juice from lemon and blending it with mint leaves as well as water. You can add honey to it to make it sweet.

  • Melon berry squash: To make this add deseeded watermelon, berries, lemon and honey (optional)  to a jar and blend it well. Serve it in a tall glass half filled with ice. This drink is a superhit with children as it is not just refreshing but pleasing to eyes as well as the palate.

  • Roasted zeera and mint salted lassi: To make this blend add curd, mint leaves with water and add roasted zeera powder, pepper and salt to it. You can serve it with boondi on top to add crunch to this energizing drink which will offer a perfect relief during this scorching summer heat. This drink became popular with adults at the party.

  • Jaljeera:It is a spicy, tangy summer refreshing drink packed with flavors. It requires herbs like cilantro and fresh mint leaves, ginger,lime juice, tamarind pulp with spices like asafetida, black pepper powder, black salt, roasted cumin powder and dry mango powder to be blended together nicely. This exquisite drink was enjoyed by men and women alike because of its tangy taste.

  • Mango and banana smoothie: Smoothies are known for their thicker, creamier and richer sweet taste. This recipe requires mangoes, bananas, vanilla yogurt and cold milk. Blend these in a blender until smooth and this super nutritious, refreshing drink is all set to be served. Young children love this combo of their favorite fruits.

  • Biscuit milkshake: It is a super easy and quick recipe which involves just four ingredients such as oreo biscuits or parle G biscuits, vanilla ice cream, cold milk, chocolate syrup (optional). Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and blend till smooth. This beverage was again a superhit with children at the party.

To our surprise these drinks turned out to be superhit at the party. As I announced that the credit for the drinks from planning to preparation goes to my girl, she was besieged by her friends and asked to share the recipe on whatsApp. The adults in the party praised her for such excellent choices on drinks which were not just refreshing but healthy yet appealing unlike the fizzy drinks which are loaded with sugar. In addition to that, these drinks ticked off other parameters  too such as being irresistibly delicious, quenching the thirst on a hot summer day besides being aesthetically pleasing too. This was one such special day, the tasty delightful memories of which will be cherished forever.

Please share more such unique ideas on drinks, their recipes and/or your valuable feedback and add value to this blog. 

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