Many of us have opted for healthier choices for ourselves and our family. It certainly isn’t an easy process to break bad habits and relearn everything you’ve been taught about food. This is why it’s even more important to stop bad habits before they start, whenever possible. We gave you 10 reasons to dump diet soda, which can be the hardest hurdle for some. Well, here are 10 reasons to never let your kid drink soda:

1. Soda is addictive

The addictive properties of soda come from a number of its ingredients–first, the caffeine. Caffeine is the the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world, says a report from Johns Hopkins. The report goes on to say caffeine produces a physical dependance. Those experiencing this admit to altered moods and not being able to quit caffeine, despite wanting to. Children are not immune to this dependance, and some might even say they are more susceptible to caffeine’s effects due to their smaller body weight.
Studies on sugar have had similar findings. Sugar leads to a dependance complete with cravings and withdrawals. Choosing a diet soda without the sugar isn’t a better option though. Artificial sweeteners actually trick the brain into wanting more, leading to dependance. Drinking soda may be more than just a bad habit, but an actual dependance that is tough to quit.

2. Soda has no nutritional value

Although this may seem obvious, soda is not providing much needed nutrition to our bodies. It does, however, provide empty calories and can suppress the appetite. Consuming soda may cause children to eat less of the foods they need to fuel their bodies. Those who drink soda regularly are also more likely to get less than the recommended amount of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium, an important mineral to overall health.

3. Soda is harming children’s brains

A child’s brain is developing throughout adolescence. When a kid drinks soda, they are consuming chemicals that are altering their brain. MSG can be hiding in the citric acid of soda, as well as in the artificial flavors. This excitotoxin has been shown to damage the neurons in the brain of mice. In addition, high levels of excitotoxins have been linked to brain tumours, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, learning disorders and behavioral problems.

4. Soda is weakening kids’ bones

Drinking soda can actually deplete bones of much needed calcium. Phosphorus, a common ingredient in soda, leads to bone loss when in disproportionate levels to calcium. Caffeine is also a culprit here, as it is known to interfere with the absorption of calcium and bone density. Kids who drink soda are not likely to consume the necessary amount of milk or other calcium rich beverages.

5. Soda is causing bad behavior

The possible reasons for behavior issues from children who drink soda are many. It could be from the caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, or blood sugar spikes and drops. According to a survey of more than 3000 mothers, children who drank soda were more aggressive, withdrawn, and had trouble paying attention.

6. Soda is destroying kids’ teeth

Sugar isn’t good for teeth, and neither are the acids within soda. Both the citric acid and phosphorus can wear away tooth enamel and lead to decay. Combined with the addictive nature of soda, teeth can be frequently exposed to this harmful beverage and be at risk for tooth erosion.

7. Soda is contributing to childhood diabetes

8. Kids who like the sweetness of soda are more likely to be overweight