My kids have never had soft drink, but I gave my 16ish month child lollies on a train once. It had been a huge day out, she was totally over it, and was screaming, and nothing would settle her. Everyone was staring at me, and she was being more than disruptive - this child had a scream that could wake the dead. People had to stop their conversations because they couldn't hear each other over her screeaming, it was bad. My older child had some lollies that her Nan had given her, so I fed my 16 month old jelly babies for the rest of the trip. She ate about 5, and chewed them up and spat them out again and made a huge mess, but she was quiet after that. Was it healthy? No. Jelly babies are full of preservatives and sugars and colours. She is 3 now and has had a lolly maybe once or twice ever since that day. I don't 'do' lollies usually, but on the odd occasion - meh. I don't see why coke is much worse than lollies (apart from the caffeine) - it's all sugar and colours and crap, and of course it's not healthy. But I guess the difference is whether it is a once off, or a regular occurrence.