Water has no sugar! Drink up today. Summertime is hot, hot, hot, and as we sweat, we lose a lot of fluids. It is important to keep your family hydrated now and all year long. You may be wondering, what is the best drink for me and my children? Well, the answer is water – good old-fashioned H2O.
Here are the reasons why:
1. We need water to keep our bodies working smoothly – did you know, our bodies are actually 60-70 percent water? It makes sense that when we are thirsty, our bodies are telling us that they need water, not soda or juice.
2. Water does not contribute to cavities. One of the main causes of early cavities is long exposure to a sweetened beverage including soda, milk, or juice. Follow your dentist’s recommendations to keep your child’s teeth healthy.
3. Sugary beverages lead to weight gain and teach us to crave sweets in other forms. Drinking just one sugary drink per day for one year means that you have consumed 76 cups of sugar. This can look like 10 to 15 pounds of weight gain.
How much sugar is in your family’s favorite drinks?
- Fruit drinks, one pouch = 4 teaspoons of sugar.
Can you imagine feeding your child 4 sugar packets? If not, avoid fruit drinks in the pouch form. One 20 oz. fruit drink can have up to 18 teaspoons of sugar.
- Orange juice, 20 oz. = 11 teaspoons of sugar.
If you are going to allow your child to drink juice, keep it to a 4 oz. portion, the size of one juice box, or keep juice cups on hand. What about 100 percent juice, you may ask? One 20 oz. bottle of 100 percent fruit juice can still have the same amount of sugar as a bag of Skittles. Although natural sugar, it is still a concentrated source of sugar and we should limit our portions.
- Soda, 20 oz. = 15 teaspoons of sugar
Whether light or dark soda, the sugar content is nearly the same.
Recipe of the Month: Create your own spa water!
It goes by many names – spa water, infused water, agua fresca, but it all means the same thing – adding natural substances, like fruits, veggies, and herbs to fancy up your water. I understand it can get rather boring drinking water all the time, so try these combinations today.
Berries – Strawberries and blueberries pair well with fresh mint.
Citrus fruits – Slice lemons and oranges for a cool treat.
Cucumber and lemon – This refreshing combination will keep you wanting more.
1. Choose one of the above combinations or create your own.
2. Combine with water in a pitcher. Let the flavors infuse over several hours.
3. Enjoy over ice!
By Brittany Lightsey, MS, RD, LD
Have you seen our website? Visit memorialhealth.com/childrens-wellness-program.aspx to learn about our program and find more tips for promoting a long, healthy life for your family. Be sure to check out our articles monthly on the “Parent Resources” section of SCCPSS’ School Food and Nutrition Website found on www.sccpss.com. These articles will highlight tips, tricks, and recipes to keep your family happy and healthy. For questions, please contact Brittany Lightsey, MS, RD, LD at LightBr1@memorialhealth.com.