I just witnessed what one parent (not me) thought was a great teaching moment; I deemed it indicative of much of what is wrong with how we eat in this country.
The location was a service area—fast food, bathrooms, gas—on the Interstate Highway System. I was having a homemade picnic dinner (chicken thigh on a whole wheat roll with avocado, Dijon mustard, dill and parsley) in the Quiznos's seating area when I went to get a couple napkins.
I passed the self-service soda fountain and saw a girl of about five dispensing neon pink liquid into a huge Coca-Cola cup (it was at least 32 ounces). When she was done, her mom congratulated her: "Great job; that was the first time you did it all by yourself!"
The girl's drink of choice? Hi-C Poppin' Pink Lemonade, which contains a little less than four grams of sugar (in the form of high fructose corn syrup, from genetically-engineered and pesticide-laden corn) per ounce.
While the ingredients are awful (but can't be found on Coca-Cola's website), I was more upset knowing that this innocent girl probably thinks that sodas, fruit drinks and sports drinks are normal, everyday beverages.
I wish her only the best in life, but a part of me knows that her health, intelligence and happiness are being compromised with every sip of Poppin' Pink Lemonade.
Oh, in addition to fast food, bathrooms and gas, the service areas have water fountains (free!) as well.