Water does Wonders was the second theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. This theme encouraged kids and families to drink more water!
Water makes up more than half of a child’s body weight! That means water is essential to keep their bodies working and growing properly. Water is also natural and free, making it the best choice for
kids to stay hydrated and healthy. With water, there’s no need to worry about sugar, calories, additives, preservatives, or caffeine.
Dietary preferences are established between the ages of zero and four years old, laying the foundation for eating habits later in life. Research has shown that when children are used to consuming water at a young age, they are more likely to drink water later in life.
The Health Kids Community Challenge Hastings Prince Edward has lots of great initiatives planned to make it easier for kids and their families to choose healthy
drinks more often including:
Plain, unsweetened milk in another healthy choice for thirsty kids. It contains calcium and vitamin D that they need. For those who cannot drink milk, unsweetened, fortified soy drinks are an option.
100% fruit juice (no sugar added) can be an occasional treat, however no more than about a 1/2 per day is recommended. While juice contains some nutrients, its also has a lot of sugar. Teach kids that eating a piece of fruit or cut up vegetables is a better choice than reaching for juice – they’ll get important nutrients and fibre, and will feel full longer.
Beverages account for almost half (44%) of kids sugar intake every day!6
There are also some beverage options that are best to avoid all together. Sugar-sweetened beverages are a concern for children’s health. They include soft drinks, fruit drinks (e.g. punches, lemonades), specialty coffee/tea drinks, sports and energy drinks, and sweetened milks. These drinks can replace more nutritious choices and contribute extra calories and sugar to children’s diets.
Excess sugar intake is associated with other negative health outcomes such as an increased number of dental cavities, and among adults, an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The World health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults and children get no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars.
Check out this Water does Wonders Infographic to help visualize the amount of sugar contained in some common beverage options.
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