School Caught Loading Kids Up on Mountain Dew

moutain dewAn elementary school in Melbourne, Florida, recently doled out small amounts of -- wait for it -- Mountain Dew to students, along with some trail mix, to perk them up for the high-stakes standardized tests they were taking each day. This apparently has been a 10-year-long practice of Creel Elementary (I know), but it's since been stopped, thanks to a grandmother who contacted the local media about the practice.

Time to talk about soda, Moms! Yet another divisive parenting topic that has us on either the "cool with it" side or the shield-it-from-your-child-as-if-it-were-whopping-cough-in-a-2-liter-bottle side. I, personally, consider myself a member of the latter group. With the exception of a random occasion here and there, I have zero intentions of allowing my daughter to drink it. And if she were given, ugh, Mountain Dew by her elementary school to "get her excited for a test," you best believe I'd be annoyed. Allowing kids to have soda is a parenting decision, not a school one.

Whether you think parents have become overly sensitive coddlers, who don't want their kids coming within a 20-foot radius of anything but outlandishly expensive organic produce, fact is, soda is bad for kids. In addition to it being a big contributor to the obesity epidemic, it's been linked to behavioral problems and tooth decay. (Are schools going to foot kids' dental bills for parents?) Caffeine can also increase kids' blood pressure, cause sleeplessness, and aggravate already existing anxiety disorders. Bottom line: It's bad news and ought to be a decision mom or dad makes as opposed to the school principal. (Remember, the soda wasn't just available, it was given out to kids.)

Again, when my daughter is older, I have no intentions of locking her in an ivory tower in an effort to shun her from any and all sugary, high-fructose corn syrup-y, aspartame-y, sodium benzoate-y drinks. Once in a while, yes, I'll put on my "fun parent" hat and allow her to enjoy some, as I do with candy and sweets. But it'll be in an exceptional situation: A birthday party or a vacation; not part of her regular routine. And as silly as that may sound to some, that's my decision, not the school's.

Do you let your kids have soda?


Image via uberzombie/Flickr

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Snapp... SnappleQueen

You're really overreacting. Note the phrase, "small amounts". 

the4m... the4mutts

I have let my kids have it VERY RARELY. Like, less than once a month rarely.

If the school did it, I wouldn't be mad. I would laugh in their face when they wanted to send my 5th grader home. Sugary soda + ADHD= HAHA ASSHOLES! You try getting him off the ceiling!

He goes NUTS. He will bounce, make random noises, yell, fidget, and make a menace of himself with 40,000 questions until it wears off.

He knows, and will usually tell people that he can't have it unless it's diet/sugar free. It's the corn syrup that does it. But hey, if the school wanted to do that, they would have called me, and I would have said "You did it, you deal with it!" And hung up.

TheSi... TheSilence

If I were to ever give my child soda it wouldn't ever be Mountain Dew. They've basically given them the equivalent of a red bull, which isn't healthy or necessary.

If they really wanted the best results they should provide each child with a wholesome breakfast and lunch. That would do so much more for them.

Mark Cox

so from small amounts she gets loading!!

Bruic... Bruickson

We don't really keep cokes or any other soft drinks in our house. I wouldn't mind if my daughter had it occasionally but she just doesn't like it. If we are out at a party or something and that's all they have she will ask for water. I've seen friends giving their toddlers coke in a sippy cup and I thought it was insane.

handy... handy0318

I don't have a problem with my kids drinking soda. As a matter of fact, I allow my dd to drink soda or, much more often, her own homemade iced coffee which has more than it's fair share of sugar. 

However, if someone were to give my ds a caffeinated beverage before taking a test, he would be so jittery that he probably wouldn't be able to sit still and concentrate. Caffeine really affects him and when he has soda, it's always a non-caffeinated type.

nonmember avatar Syd

God people are getting dumber by the minute. Is this really something that needs attention paid to it? Kids get a small amount (probably the little mini-cans) once or twice a year in school? SERIOUSLY? No one is forced to drink it. I'm sure other choices are provided. If nothing else, getting this treat makes taking a long test suck a little less. Worry about the crap the cafeteria pumps into your kids' bodies. Worry about the visits to Mcdonalds. Worry about the sugar in the morning bowl of sugary cereal. Worry about the fact that the entirety of your children's education is summed up by one, standardized test. A can of Mountain Dew is not a big deal. It shouldn't be a deal at all.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Elementary school- this would be a huge issue for me. Even in "small amounts". We avoid sugar like the plague in hopes that our children will have reduced cravings. I understand kids trade food and drinks, but an adult allowing/encouraging consumption would be an issue for me. I send my child with appropriate food and drinks, if they choose to go against our wishes, it's on their conscience and I can speak to them about it if necessary. But an adult allowing and providing it wouldn't be ok with me, not at a school.

jec72579 jec72579

Farmers - Sorry, but "avoiding it like the plague" in your house is NOT making them have reduced cravings, it will just make them go out and go crazy while at friends'. This is the most asinine story I have ever heard of. Do I keep soda in our home normally? No, because the kids don't ask for it. Why don't they ask for it very often? Because they are ALWAYS allowed to have it. It is not a treat in our home, it is just another beverage, like juice, milk, water, or lemonade. 

Just remember, the more you restrict food, the more your kids will sneak around to get to those foods that are restricted. 

Coming from a mother of two (14 year old daughter, 7 year old son), both very healthy and of perfect weight for their ages.

sea-soul sea-soul

I believe the kids were given 3 tbsp each, and it was 3rd grade and up that received it. I would be more mad about the REASON it was given to kids: to stimulate them for a test. They were treating the pop not as a treat, but as a drug. I have no problem with my kids having pop occasionally, but it's not a daily thing, maybe a few times a month when we go out to eat (kids are 14, 13, and 12 now). Also, though not condoning AT ALL what the school did, it's interesting to note this school consistently scores extremely well on the tests.

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