College of DuPage Nursing Student Cristina Olague shared that nowadays, everyone is on the run, juggling work and family responsibilities, driving children to sports and after school activities. It is easy to fall into the trap of not making healthy food and beverage choices for the family. Choices like soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters often have many added sugars. By taking the time to read the label, it becomes clear that added sugars make up a lot of the content in these drinks. Sugar may come in many variations such as brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, molasses, and raw sugar (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2020). According to the CDC sugary drinks are associated with obesity, cavities, and even diabetes. It is important to prevent these added risks by opting for healthier, low-calorie, natural snacks, and drinks.
Water is readily accessible and a vital source for children, so the change to healthier drink options may be as simple as drinking water. Water not only is important in regulating body temp and organ function, but water consumption has been associated with healthy body weight, fewer dental problems, and improved brain function in children (CDC, 2020).
Children may not prefer water because it has no taste, but several strategies can be used to add taste to water so it is more appealing. Adding fresh fruit provides taste in addition to added nutrients while avoiding extra sugar. Another option is to infuse water with coconut water to add extra flavor, nutrients and electrolytes which are often lost when playing sports. Coconut water is also an excellent choice for hydration.
Next time you go to the store, make a stop at the produce aisle and select some favorite fruits to infuse in drinking water for not only improved flavor, but more importantly, improved health by eliminating unnecessary added sugar.
Kids and added sugars: How much is too much? (2016, August 22). https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/05/01/kids-and-added-sugars-how-much-is-too-much.