The new year is a great time to think about ways to improve your family’s health. Because new year’s resolutions are often forgotten by February, consider making small, simple changes that are more likely to “stick”. Here are three ideas:
- Read food labels. Making healthier drinks choices can start by learning how to read and use the Nutrition Facts Panel. If the product lists added sugars, then it’s a sugary drink. Replacing sugary drinks with healthy GO drinks, like water and fat-free or low-fat milk, can help prevent cavities, unhealthy weight gain, and diabetes.
- Offer water throughout the day. Research has shown that one out of two kids don’t get enough water. Without enough water, kids may feel weak, dizzy and get a headache. Since they may not see the connection between what they are drinking and how they feel, get in the habit of offering kids water every couple of hours. Before you know it, they will start to ask for water.
- Serve fruit instead of fruit juice. When your kids want something sweet, serve them fruit instead of juice. Fruit is more nutritious than fruit juice and can be hydrating. Fruits that are in season will be the cheapest. Right now, look for apples, grapefruit, or bananas at the store. A full list of produce in season can be found here. If you bring your kids to the store with you, let them choose a fruit. That may entice them to eat more of it!
It’s never too late to make changes. Overtime, even small simple changes can result in life long healthy habits. Reading food labels, offering water to your kids throughout the day, and serving fruit instead of fruit juice can lead to big improvements in your family’s health. It may even prevent serious health conditions. More information about healthy drinks can be found on our website, www.rethinkyourdrinknevada.com
Do you have suggestions for a topic for our newsletter? If so, we would love to hear from you. Write to RethinkYourDrink@unr.edu. We will send you a free healthy drink recipe book for your suggestions!
This article was written and reviewed by Rethink Your Drink Nevada’s team of nutrition and dietetic professionals.