A while ago I suggested you give your children Candy with Breakfast. It was a serious proposal, intended to make the point that if you set the amount of daily candy your children can eat, then it doesn’t matter when they eat it.

Now I’m suggesting you give your kids Coke for breakfast!  OK. This time I’m not serious, but stay with me here for a moment.

Before we get to Coke, though, let’s consider juice. The rationale for giving kids juice goes something like this:

  • It’s nutritious (or at least, nutritious enough).
  • Kids like it.

Now consider the pros and cons of giving kids Coke for breakfast:


  • Ounce for ounce it has less sugar than most 100% fruit juices, fruit drinks, sports drinks and many other carbonated beverages.  (See the table at the bottom of this post.)
  • Kids like it.


  • It has absolutely no nutritional value.
  • It teaches kids the wrong habit about drinks. (But at least we tell kids Coke is junk.)

I admit that the negatives for Coke are pretty bad.  What if you could up the nutritional value of Coke? Would you serve it up to your kids in the morning?

We can eliminate the nutrition-deficiency objection rather quickly.

Do you know about Diet Coke Plus? According to The Coca-Cola Company, Diet Coke Plus is, “A sparkling, calorie-free beverage with vitamins B3, B6 and B12, and the minerals zinc and magnesium.”

And Diet Coke Plus has no sugar.  Maybe it’s better than juice!

If we served nutritionally-enhanced soda, the argument for giving kids Coke in the morning would rely on the same rationale we use for juicing them up.

  • It’s nutritious.  (I’ve heard that in Europe Diet Coke Plus even has Vitamin C, but I can’t verify it… it adds an interesting twist to my argument though.)
  • Kids like it.

And the cons?  The most important one still applies.

  • It teaches the wrong habits about drinks – sugary sweet can’t be beat!

Ditto for juice!

Give your kids lots of sweet and they’ll come to expect lots of sweet.  Try tempting them with asparagus after that.

If you are going to give your kids juice for breakfast, you might as well give them Coke (Plus).  And if you would never regularly give your kids Coke for breakfast, why in the world would you constantly give them juice?

Save juice (and Coke) for treat time.

Read Juice: Apple, Grape, Punch, and It Doesn’t Matter WHAT Your Kids Eat!

~ Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits. ~