4 September, 2013 (18:07)

RECIPES: Honey Lemonade, Berry Breeze,  Tangy Tomato Juice

By Rae Udy

Many scientific studies have established a link between consuming soda drinks and health conditions like weight gain and diabetes. But new research by Shakira Suglia, Sc.D., and colleagues from Columbia University, the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Vermont concludes these drinks can make children hyper, irritable and unable to focus. Published in Journal of Pediatrics, the researchers have found soda pop and processed juice drinks can also make children aggressive, violent and even suicidal.About 3,000 five-year-old children enrolled in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study participated. The children came from 20 large U.S. cities, and their mothers reported information on their soft drink drinking patterns and their behavior.
It was found 43 percent of children consumed at least one serving of soda or other soft drink per day, and four percent consumed four or more servings daily. The increase in soda consumption among the children corresponded to aggression issues and attention disorders became more pronounced. “We found that the child’s aggressive behavior score increased with every increase in soft drinks servings per day,” says Dr. Suglia.
“Soft drinks are highly processed products containing carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium benzoate, phosphoric or citric acid, and often caffeine, any of which might affect behavior,” say the authors of the Journal of Pediatrics study. Although this study cannot identify the exact association between soft drink consumption and problem behaviors, limiting or eliminating a child’s soft drink consumption may reduce behavioral problems.

Fun drinks made with healthy ingredients can replace soft drinks and processed juices. Try these easy-to-make nutritious beverages and dress them up with fresh fruit or veggies. Add a small slice of lemon, lime or orange for color in Honey Lemonade. Fresh blueberries or slices of strawberries are great to top Berry Breeze. Long thin celery or carrot sticks make excellent stir sticks for kids of all ages.

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Posted in Healthy Beverages, Vegetarian Kids Recipes

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