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0 – Sugary Drinks

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It’s important for everyone, especially kids, to drink less sugar! Drink water and low-fat milk instead of soda and other drinks that contain a lot of sugar. Remember that soda has no nutritional value and just nine ounces of soda has 110-150 empty calories. Many sodas also contain caffeine, which kids don’t need. Energy drinks are NOT sports drinks and should never replace water during exercise.

Water is fuel for your body
  • Water is the No.1 thirst quencher!
  • Water is the most important nutrient for active people.
  • Between 70-80 percent of a child’s body is made up of water.
  • When you exercise, you sweat, and when you sweat you LOSE water and minerals – it is important to replace the water you lose when you sweat.
Water – Keep It Handy and Keep It Cold!
  • Always keep bottled water or a water bottle on hand.
  • Add fresh lemon, lime or orange wedges to water for some natural flavor.
  • Fill a pitcher of water and keep it in the fridge.
  • Drink water when you’re thirsty. It’s the best choice.
  • Cut back slowly on sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Replace soda with water, instead of other sugar-sweetened beverages, such as juice or sports drinks.
Be a Role Model:

Grab a glass of water instead of soda. If you’re not fond of just plain water, try mixing with a small amount of juice or seltzer.

Encourage Low-fat Milk instead of Sugar-sweetened Drinks

According to the National Dairy Council:

  • Children, ages 4-8 years old, should be consuming three 8-ounce glasses of milk or other dairy each day. Children, ages 9-18 years old, should be consuming four and a half 8-ounce glasses of milk or other dairy each day.
  • Children over the age of two should drink low-fat milk (1 percent or 2 percent milk).

You can gradually make the change from whole milk to low-fat milk by mixing the two together.

Make a milkshake using low fat milk, ice, and your favorite berries.

  • Juice products labeled “-ade,” “drink,” or “punch” often contain 5 percent or less of juice.
  • The only difference between these “juices” and soda is that they’re fortified with Vitamin C.
  • Always try to choose whole fruits over juice.
  • If you choose to serve juice, buy 100 percent juice.

Limit the Juice!

Each day, juice should be limited to:

  • 4-6 ounces for children 1-6 years old.
  • 8-12 ounces for children 7-18 years old.
  • No juice at all for children 6 months and under.
  • Make changes slowly by adding more water to your child’s juice.
  • When kids are thirsty, suggest a glass of water or low-fat milk instead of juice.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Water and Nutrition Basics

Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking with meals. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. However, you also can get fluids through the foods that you eat. For example, broth soups and foods with high water content such as celery, tomatoes or melons can contribute to your overall fluid intake.

Water Helps:

  • Keep your body temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion your joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Your body get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements

Your body needs more water when you are:

  • In hot climates
  • More physically active
  • Running a fever
  • Having diarrhea or vomiting

If you think you are not getting enough water, these tips may help:

  • Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are at work or running errands.
  • Put some freezer-safe water bottles in your freezer. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
  • Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This also can help with weight management. Substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar sweetened soda will save about 240 calories. When you choose water when eating out, it not only will save money but reduce reduce calories too!
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Benefits of Drinking Water

Providing access to drinking water helps to increase students’ overall water consumption, maintain hydration and reduce energy intake, if substituted for sugar-sweetened beverages. Also, adequate hydration may improve cognitive function in children and adolescents. Finally, drinking water, if fluoridated, also plays a positive role in preventing dental cavities.

Access to Water in Schools

During the school day, students should have access to safe, free drinking water, giving them a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages. Ensuring that students have access to water throughout the day is one strategy that schools can use to create a school environment that supports health and learning. This strategy is part of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and www.letsgo.org