THERE aren’t many primary schools which allow their children to bring canned fizzy drinks to school with them for lunch or break. The Big Guy, like most kids his age, brings a still soft drink, or sometimes water. Although, as a dentist pointed out, you need to be careful as some still juices contain as much sugar as the infamous canned mouth-rotters they’re supposed to replace.

And so a huge market has built up in drinks that are child-friendly. Squinter plucked a banana from the fruit bowl on Tuesday morning as he and the Big Guy got ready to leave the house, and he watched as he placed two small soft drinks in little plastic cups into his lunchbox. ‘Juice Shots’ they were, by Calypso – pure apple juice, two of which provide one of a child’s five-a-day.

‘Shots’ – now there’s a strange name for a child’s drink. Squinter found himself wondering if it was strange that a soft drink designed primarily for children should be named after a short but powerful nip of spirits. And then he wondered whether a shot could be non-alcoholic; but no, a trawl of several hardback and online dictionaries confirmed that a shot, in the context of a drink, does indeed only refer to alcohol and not to apple juice.

What’s even more troubling is that shots as they are marketed today are aimed at young people. You can see them in every off-licence – shot-this and shot-that, mini-alcopops designed to be thrown down the neck in a short space of time; preferably while on fire.

Quite why anyone would want to equate five-a-day-style fruit drinks for children with throat-scraping slugs of neat spirit is not entirely clear to Squinter and you have to wonder whether the children might struggle to explain that one too.