Back to school is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about planning your kid’s lunches! Packing healthy drinks in your kid’s lunch and encouraging them to choose healthy drinks at school can help keep them healthy and hydrated all year long. Here are some of the best drinks and tips to maximize the nutrition of your kid’s drink choices!

Water: Encourage your child to drink water at lunch at throughout the day to stay hydrated. Try filling a reusable water bottle ½ way and freeze it. Fill the other half of the water bottle up with water and put it in your kid’s lunch. This will help keep your kid’s lunch cold and will provide your child with a cold drink when lunch time comes around. If your child eats lunch at school, sending them with a ½ frozen water bottle to school will give them something cold sip on all day long.
What about sports drinks? It’s a common myth that sports drinks are a healthy option for kid’s lunches. Sports drinks are sugary drinks that can have up to 6 teaspoons of added sugar in just one 12 ounce bottle. All of those calories can add up. For the health of your kids, limit how many sugary drinks they consume.

Milk: Milk is a great option to drink during lunch while your child is at school. Milk has several essential nutrients including protein, calcium, potassium and Vitamin D. Milk tastes best to your kids when it is ice cold. For this reason, have your kids buy their milk at school since it’s difficult to keep milk extremely cold in their lunch box.

 100% Juice: 100% juice can be a good option to include in your kid’s lunch once in a while. Fruit juice doesn’t have the same nutrients as whole fruit, which is why limits are recommended. For specific recommendations, visit myplate.gov. If you choose to include juice occasionally in your kid’s lunch, be sure to check the label to make sure it is 100% juice.

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