Rethink Your Drink Choices.
What are sugary WHOA drinks?
Did you know that what you drink is as important as what you eat? Keep reading to learn how you can help ensure good health for you and for your family.
Most children and adults consume too much added sugar. For children, about one-third of this added sugar is from sugary WHOA drinks like:
- Sports and energy drinks
- Fruit-flavored drinks, for example:
- fruit punch
- fruit nectar
- Sweetened coffee and teas
Check the Facts
Identifying WHOA Drinks
You can now use the information on the Nutrition Facts panel to see if a product has added sugars.
For good health, it is recommended that we all limit the amount of added sugar that we eat and drink.
How much sugar is TOO much?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugar to less than 10% of the total number of calories consumed in a day.
Let’s see what this means for children:
We are going to use Tyler for our example. He is 8 years old and weighs 60 pounds. Tyler needs about 1,400 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. (Your child may need more or less depending on their gender, age, and level of activity.)
This means that Tyler should consume no more than 35 grams (g) of added sugar each day – including added sugars from everything he eats and drinks. That is about 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Let’s see how this amount compares to different kinds of sugary WHOA drinks.
Amount of sugar in 12 oz.
43 g added sugar (about 11 tsp)
30 g added sugar (about 7 tsp)
21 g added sugar (about 5 tsp )
1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams of sugar
As shown here, it’s easy to exceed the maximum recommended amount of added sugar from drinks alone.
For more information about added sugars visit choosemyplate.gov.
Why Should I Limit WHOA Drinks?
Limiting the amount of sugary WHOA drinks you and your children consume can help keep your family healthy.
Sugary drinks are bullies
- Sugary WHOA drinks are bullies because they push healthier GO drinks aside such as low-fat and non-fat milk.
- When this happens kids can miss out on nutrients, including those important for strong bones and teeth.
Sugary drinks can cause unhealthy weight gain
- One out of three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese. The calories from sugary WHOA drinks can cause children to gain too much weight.
- Children who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop serious health problems in life such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Sugary drinks can cause tooth decay
- The sugar in sugary drinks can cause weakened tooth enamel (the tooth surface) that can lead to cavities.
- The acid in soda and some fruit juices can also cause tooth enamel to weaken. Sipping on sugary drinks all day can cause even more damage to tooth enamel.
Why should I limit SLOW drinks?
100% Fruit Juice100% fruit juice is a healthy choice, but many kids drink too much. Similar to sugary WHOA drinks, too much can lead to cavities and unhealthy weight gain. Experts recommend:
- Infants (less than one-year-old) 100% juice is not recommended
- Children 1-3 years-old no more than 4 oz. per day (1/2 cup)
- Children 4-6 years-old no more than 4-6 oz. per day (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
- Children 7-18 years-old no more than 8 oz. per day (1 cup)
Flavored MilkFlavored milk has the same important nutrients as plain milk but with added sugar. Too many sugary drinks can be harmful to kids’ health. Save flavored milk for special days.
Why is it important to serve GO drinks to kids?
There are SO many benefits to drinking healthy GO drinks like water and fat-free or low-fat milk.
Water helps keep your kids healthy and hydrated!
Did you know that one out of every two kids doesn’t get enough water?
Without enough water, kids can feel weak, dizzy, and get a headache. Encourage your kids to drink water throughout the day to keep them hydrated and feeling their best.
JUST LOOK TO THE TAP!
There is no need to buy bottled water. The water that comes from the faucet is best for your wallet AND the environment.
Milk and other dairy foods have nutrients kids NEED!
Milk and other dairy foods are good sources of nutrients that many kids don’t get enough of including:
- Vitamin D
Start by Making Small Changes at Home
Make the healthy choice, the easy and convenient choice.
- Limit the amount of sugary WHOA drinks you buy.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge.
- Bring along the water when you and your kids leave home.
Get everyone involved.
- Let your kids see you make healthy drink choices.
- Ask others who care for your kids to serve GO drinks instead of sugary WHOA drinks.
- Talk with your kids about WHOA, SLOW, and GO drinks. Explain why it’s important to their health.
Show your kids that healthy drinks can be tasty and refreshing.
- Milk tastes best when it is served very cold. Store milk in the main compartment of the fridge – not the door. And remember to put the carton back in the fridge right after its poured.
- Use fruits, vegetables and herbs to flavor water. Go to our recipes page to see a complete list of refreshing drinks.
Focus on progress, not perfection.
- Keep track of the sugary WHOA drinks your kids consume. Use this information to set goals for your family. Download the tracker form here.
- Reduce the portion size of sugary WHOA drinks to less than one cup.
- Limit sugary WHOA drinks to special occasions.
Give kudos to the kiddos for making good choices.
- Praise kids and others when they make a healthy drink choice.