At what age would you let your child have fizzy drinks?

How old should you be to drink cola, lemonade and other fizzy drinks? We asked 1,427 mums what they thought - plus got an expert opinion

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In a nutshell: Age 8 is when most people said they’d let their child have fizzy drinks (we polled 1,427 parents).

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Fizzy drinks have had some pretty bad press in the last few years – they’ve been blamed for everything from obesity to tooth decay.

And while we get that they’re not the healthiest beverage out there for kids (or adults) – lots of us still drink them, or let our children have them, even if only occasionally at parties or when we’re out for lunch or dinner.

But at what age do parents let their children start having fizzy drinks at all? We surveyed 1,400 mums and got some really interesting answers.

The most popular answers were:

  • age 8 (12%)
  • age 5 (11%)
  • age 10 (9%).
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We got loads of comments, too. A few mums said they didn’t give their kids fizzy drinks but knew they’d probably have them at parties – so 8 seemed about the right age.

Quite a few said their children didn’t actually like them – and most agreed that they’d limit them to special occasions like Christmas. 

One mum, of a 3-year-old, says she lets her child have a fizzy drink once a week as a treat.

And another – who has 3 children, the oldest being 12 – has a great solution to the whole fizzy drink dilemma: “I have a Sodastream machine and make my own healthy syrups for it.”

At what age can a child have fizzy drinks? What the expert says

Child nutritionist Sarah Almond Bushell tells us that while there are no hard and fast rules on this one, her advice would be to avoid them for as long as possible and not to drink them as an adult either.

“Sugar containing fizzy drinks have been linked weight gain, hyperactivity, and dental cavities by damaging the teeth enamel – hence the recent sugar tax,” she says.

Many children consume more sugar that the maximum daily limit, anyway.

Switching to diet or zero versions may not be a suitable alternative, though, as some preliminary studies have linked these to heart disease and type 2 diabetes (although more research is needed to determine if this is proven).

“Nevertheless, sugar-free alternatives still damage your teeth due to the carbon dioxide (that makes the fizz) which includes carbonated water,” Sarah adds. “Some also contain caffeine – roughly the same amount as a cup of tea.”

What do you think?

At what age – if at all – would you let your child have fizzy drinks? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook.

This tag cloud shows some of the key words that came up from comments on this topic…

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Image: Getty Images

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