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    ADA Conference: Hot Import

    One of the hottest new food products in Australia — Sippah milk flavoring straws — has arrived to this side of the Pacific Ocean.

    It’s all quite ingenious, really. Here’s how they work.

    Each straw — designed to flavor exactly one cup of milk — contains patented flavored beads that dissolve as milk travels up. The result? Flavored milk containing only two grams of added sugar (half a teaspoon) and a mere 15 calories.

    Mind you, part of the reason for the low sugar and calorie numbers is that these straws contain a little sucrose (table sugar) and some artificial sweeteners. I’m not a big proponent of young children having Splenda. Occassionally? Fine. Every day? Not the best idea.

    Down under, straws are available in are chocolate, banana, strawberry, cookies and cream, chocolate mint (eek), and green apple (double eek) flavors. So far, the United States market is offering the first four flavors.

    I taste-tested the chocolate, banana, and strawberry straws and can see this becoming a surefire hit with young kids.

    Not only do the see-through straws make it to fun to drink milk, they also provide flavor without all the sugar and calories in ready-to-drink bottled flavored milk. Consider that a cup of chocolate Nesquik adds 110 calories and 17 grams of sugar to a cup of milk.

    I do have one bone to pick with Sippah’s website. They refer to plain milk as “boring white milk.”

    While I understand they are talking to their target audience with those statements, I also think it’s important for young kids to know that regular milk is also tasty (for instance, by using it as the base for a banana and peanut butter smoothie).

    I also wish Nestle — the company behind these straws — would market Sippah as a treat rather than a daily addition to regular milk. I wouldn’t oppose to a young child having two of these straws a week as a “special snack”, but I would definitely have a problem with a parent allowing their child to flavor two daily glasses of milk with artificial sweeteners.

    Anyhow, a box of 10 straws retails for $3.79. I’m interested in knowing if any readers with children have bought these, and, if so, what the children thought.

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