06 November 2007

Serve hot chocolate with a straw

Here's how Kirsten cuts down on the cocoa mess:

I used to hate giving my kids hot chocolate because they'd make such a mess with it. Then, I figured out that it was the spoons (which they always want to stir and sip with) that were making the mess. I substituted straws for spoons - no more messes! They can still stir, but they don't spill.

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I'd be worried my kid would burn his mouth drinking from the straw. The liquid at the bottom is hotter than at the top, and it's difficult to tell if it's too hot. I've done it myself a few times in the past.

This is potentially really dangerous. Straws with hot liquids is a major safety hazard that can squirt hot liquids right into kids throats and make it impossible to get it out before damage is done.

If the need is for something to stir with that doesn't make spills like spoons, use a chopstick or other solid item.

This hack didn't set off my safety alarm because, around here, hot chocolate is more like tepid chocolate. My kids like it barely warm, so drinking it with a straw is no problem. Thanks for pointing this out.

BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA!

If that wasn't clear enough, this is really, really a bad idea. Just one pull through the straw will spray a shot of the drink directly onto the roof of the mouth and into the throat; the areas in the mouth that are most heat sensitive!

Even if you're "hot chocolate" at home is really only warm, you're teaching kids at home that it's ok to drink hot beverages with a straw. So what's going to happen when they go out somewhere with friends and put a straw in something that's more than warm? I'm 38 now but still have vivid memories of instantly burning the roof of my mouth with Burger King Hot Chocolate when I was under 10.

Kidsthat aren't old enough to stir the beverage without making a mess aren't old enough to differentiate when it is and when it is safe to drink something with a straw.

For a safer & more festive alternative, candy canes make great stir sticks & add yumminess to the hot chocolate. :o)

wow. um, thanks for the safety warning. like the editor's comment, though, our hot chocolate is 'tepid' at it's hottest.

Scott, kids around here who aren't old enough to stir the chocolate without a mess aren't allowed access to hot drinks without supervision, period.

I think this one can be managed suitably. Around here we add cold milk to the hot-ish chocolate for good measure. (Though we also just let them make a mess with the spoons - that's more than half the fun for my kids (though kids differ), and it's a fine skill to master (not that they won't master it eventually regardless - it's just not on my issues list, I guess). I recommend IKEA tables for the mess-prone stage, for another way to reduce stress over markers or chocolate mess or surface damage or other stains...)

Funny, I never run into this problem. See, my kids would rather eat liver & onions than "waste" the treat of hot chocolate by playing with it! I wish they felt that way about all of their food & drinks...

Oh, and I absolutely second "wdskmom" on the candy cane stirrer. It can get slightly glued to the mug if you let it sit for too long, but the taste is heavenly!

in our house, hot chocolate has always been served with a fork for extra stirring.

This is, quite possibly, the dumbest thing I have ever read on a blog. I could not agree more with the poster who said this is a BAD IDEA from a safety perspectve.

Also, if your kids tend to play and make a mess with the spoon, they are also going to play and make a mess with the straw. Have you not seen first hand the "straw-flicking" effect, where your child uses the straw to catapult the liquid across the room and make even more of a mess than they would with a spoon?

Zero out of five stars for this post.

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