Monday, 26 January 2015

Healthy & exciting! Sodastream's new campaign to make water more interesting #watermadeexciting

My family are huge fans of Sodastream - it's the perfect kitchen gadget to have around so that you can treat yourself and your children to fizzy drinks in the quantity you are happy for them to have when you are happy for them to have it.

Fizzies are exactly that in our house - a treat- and normally with meals I offer the family water, milk or fruit juice or squash. They will chose, in order of popularity, juice/milk in joint first position, then squash, then bottom of the list is water.

They complain it's "boring" and even sometimes that it doesn't taste nice. It's more acceptable served ice cold in summer but in the winter it can be hard going getting them to drink even a glassful.

It seems I am not alone. A recent study revealed that 45 per cent of UK parents don’t give their kids water at mealtimes. Almost half (48 per cent) stated the reason they choose not to serve water is to avoid the additional stress this would create at the dinner table.

The study also revealed that 55 per cent said it was because their children prefer to drink fruit juices, squash or fizzy drinks and that they find water boring, even though 70 per cent of those parents are aware of the high sugar content in such drinks.

The research also found that 45 per cent of parents admit their children don’t have the recommended daily intake of water, with one in 20 claiming that their kids drink no water whatsoever.

I am lucky in that my children's school insist they take water bottles and drink regularly from them during the school day, even in winter.

Back to the study (of 2,000 parents) which revealed that a staggering 80 per cent of mums and dads want their kids to drink more water and will try tactics such as using novelty cups, straws and ice cubes and have even tried bribing them with treats or money. Researchers found that 45 per cent of parents suggested that one answer to persuading their kids to drink more water if it was fizzy.

Fiona Hope, UK Managing Director of SodaStream, which commissioned the research, said; “This research shows us that boredom is a key factor in families and children not drinking enough water at mealtimes.

Independent research shows that people with a SodaStream drink one more litre of water every day compared to people without one.  As such, SodaStream is on a mission to get the UK drinking more water by making it exciting, simply by adding bubbles, meaning families can have fun drinking more water this January.”

Sodastream challenged my family to try drinking fizzy water made with a fabulously bright yellow Sodastream drinksmaker during mealtimes for a while and see if they preferred it to still water. Did it make water more interesting? was the question I needed to ask my tribe.

I am sad to say that apart from DS#3 who loved the fizzy water and declared it "much more fun" than ordinary water, the other children were not too sure. I wonder if I should not have told them the water came from the Sodastream. They seemed to be expecting a flavour - my 8-year-old daughter even described the water as tasting like "odd Sprite".

So with this in mind I decided to try a blind taste test with my friends who were coming for dinner. I always offer water along with beer and wine when friends come round so I knew they wouldn't think it was too odd.

I have two identical glass bottles I bought in Cyprus so filled one with tap water and one with fizzy water from the Sodastream drinksmaker. I refrigerated them both for an hour before placing them on the table ready for dinner.

I asked my friends (who are used to strange requests and behaviour attributed to "it's a blogging thing") to try a glass of water from each bottle, then asked them to choose their favourite.




They all preferred the fizzy and chose to drink it throughout the meal. It was especially popular with those sticking to Dry January! At the end of the meal I did a big reveal and everyone was amazed when I told them it was just tap water fizzed up with my Sodastream.

Talking to other parents it seems that children generally don't really like fizzy water from any source. It might be an acquired taste so I plan to continue to offer it to them as an option at mealtimes, possibly adding a small amount of fruit juice to sweetened it slightly.

But all the adults agreed that having the option to create fizzy water with a Sodastream was brilliant - it hadn't occurred to them that you don't have to add flavours (tasty as they are!). One friend said she planned to use her machine to make fizzy water to add to wine, creating a healthier spritzer-style drink. Genius!



 Disclaimer: I received a Sodastream Play drinks maker to enable me to take part in this challenge. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

Fancy taking the challenge yourself? SodaStream is available at Argos, Lakeland, Dunelm Mill, Amazon, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and other retailers. Each SodaStream reusable carbonating bottle is estimated to save the environment from an estimated 1,000 bottles and cans each year. SodaStream Play RRP £69.99 SodaStream Classic RRP £89.99.

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