A sugary drink is any drink with sugar added to it.

Some examples of sugary drinks include:

  • Soda
  • Fruit-flavored drink
  • Sports drink
  • Energy drink
  • Fruit Nectar
  • Lemonade
  • Fruit punch
  • Flavored milk

The water that comes from the tap is the best choice! Did you know that about 25% of bottled water is tap water? City tap water is safe and it gets tested at least once per year. Drinking tap water also costs much less than bottled water, only a few cents compared to a few dollars for bottled water.

Drinking water or fat-free or low-fat milk is the best choice when your kids are thirsty. Water is a nutrient that is essential for good health, and your kids need water to stay hydrated and healthy. Milk has nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D that are important for building your kids’ bones.

Although diet drinks do not have added sugar, when kids drink diet beverages, they may not be drinking milk. When milk is pushed aside, your kids may be missing out on essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Help show your kids that it’s important to choose water and milk over diet drinks.

  • Too many sugary drinks can cause tooth decay in children, which could lead to cavities.
  • Too many sugary drinks increases the risk for health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Too many sugary drinks can cause excessive weight gain.
  • Some sugary drinks contain caffeine, which can make it difficult for your kids to fall asleep and get good rest.
  • 100 % fruit juice is a healthy drink, but experts recommend limits because 100% fruit juice doesn’t contain the fiber and other nutrients found in whole fruit.  In addition, drinking fruit juice too often can also contribute to tooth decay. The recommended daily limit for 100% fruit juice shown below:
  •  1 to 6 years-old – no more than 4-6 oz per day
  •  7 to 18 years-old – no more than 8-12 oz per day.

Milk is a healthy choice for your kids because it has important nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium and potassium. The nutrients found in milk and other dairy products are not found in sugary drinks.

If your kids can’t drink milk, try lactose-free milk or soymilk with added calcium. Also, ask your pharmacist about products that make dairy foods easier to digest.

Sugary drinks in moderation are okay once in a while. Try to limit your kids’ sugary drinks and reserve them for special occasions. Be sure to talk with your kids about why it’s important to limit sugary drinks.

You are the most important influence on your kids! When adults make healthy choices and set the home up for heathy habits, your kids will follow. Try these tips to show your kids how to make healthy drink choices.

  • Don’t buy sugary drinks as often (if they aren’t in your fridge, your kids won’t drink them).
  • Reduce the portion size. When you serve your kids sugary drinks, limit the portion size to less than 1 cup (8 ounces).
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. Ice cold water can be enjoyed when your kids are thirsty.
  • Make it your family’s goal for everyone to drink fewer sugary drinks. Talk to your kids about why it’s important to limit sugary drinks.
  • Buy reusable water containers that your kids can refill at school.
  • Bring ice water along for your kids when you leave home.