For Starbucks, lowering sugar is optional: Company blasted for sugar-laden kids’ drink after pledge to reduce levels

Thursday, February 08, 2018 by

Starbucks is an indulgence — not only on your wallet but on your waistline. We need to accept the truth that the Seattle-based coffee brand is more of a sugar factory than an actual maker of coffee. This became even more evident when a U.K. report revealed that Starbucks’ hot chocolate, when topped off with whipped cream, contained 11.4 grams of added sugar. This is more than half the daily recommended intake for children aged four to six years old. What’s more, the report came just days after Starbucks officially promised to cut back its use of added sugars in all its beverages.

The coffee group was lambasted by British health officials for not following their word. The disgrace was even more appalling, considering that the hot chocolate beverage was being marketed to very young children who don’t know any better. British health groups are calling for stronger policies to be made to combat the rampant and, as of now unregulated, marketing strategies of sugar-laden products aimed at children.

In response, Starbucks spokespeople have said that parents have the option to customize their child’s drink by asking the barista to not put the whip cream and requesting a different milk temperature. Doing so can limit the amount of sugar their child drinks.

They added: “We do not market this drink for children in the U.K. In 2015 we announced a five year plan to reduce added sugar in indulgent beverages by at 25 percent [sic] and we have already made significant progress.”

But progress is as progress does. Starbucks has been found in the past to offer drinks that are more sugar-water substances than anything. Many of the group’s drinks contain two to three times more sugar than the recommended daily amount for an adult. The worst offending drink, it must be noted, is the Starbucks’ Hot Mulled Fruit (grape with chai, orange, and cinnamon venti) which contains around 25 teaspoons of added sugar.

The group claimed that they are fully committed to reducing this number by at least 25 percent by the end of 2020 and that “all nutritional information is available in-store and online.” However, the new U.K. report on their hot chocolate says that the firm’s website did not show any information on their “kids” hot chocolate. The consequence of this is that parents are unable to properly control their children’s diet.

Current health statistics say British children eat the equivalent of around 20 chocolate chip cookies’ worth of sugar every day. A large percentage of this comes from the consumption of sugary drinks and snacks.

Healthy alternatives

Whether or not Starbucks lessens the amount of sugar each of their drinks has, you can completely avoid the danger by choosing alternatives instead. If you’re looking for healthy and delicious drinks to serve your children, we recommend the following:

  • Orange juice — We’re not talking about the concentrated formulas that also contain a large amount of sugars. Give your children the best nutrition by juicing your own oranges and giving them the juice. An eight-oz. glass of orange juice only has 100 calories and large amounts of vitamin C.
  • Coconut water — This is one of the most nutritious liquids you can give your child. Coconut water is filled with multiple nutrients and has a sweet taste your kid will love. Coconut water is a good source of calcium and vitamin C.
  • Hot chocolate — This is the real stuff and not the sugar sludge you get in Starbucks. Buy premium, high-quality dark chocolate and melt a few blocks in milk. Please do not give children younger than two hot chocolate as it contains small amounts of caffeine.
  • Vegetable juice — Juicing is a good way to ensure that children get all the nutrients they need.

Want to know what other foods or drinks you should be feeding your children? Go to now.

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