You give your kids their daily servings of fruits and veggies, you’re making sure they’re active each day, and they’re in bed by 9pm sharp every weeknight. But careful- what you’re putting in your kids’ cups and water bottles affects their health too, and it’s all too easy to supply children with sugary, unhealthy drinks at parties, in the lunchroom, and on-the-go. Even worse? Supposedly “healthy” drinks like juice can have just as much sugar as soda.

Should kids be drinking water instead of juice?

Let’s take a look at exactly how water stacks up against soda and juice, so you can make the best choice when filling up kids tumblers.

Is soda bad for kids?

Most pediatricians agree the kids should not be drinking soft drinks on a regular basis. According to WebMD, nearly 90 studies have found a correlation between sweetened beverages and weight problems in children. Soft drinks and other sweetened drinks contain calories (unless they use artificial low-calorie sweeteners), yet kids don’t feel full after drinking them — so children will eat their normal amount of food as well.

Soda also puts children at risk for cavities, thanks to their high sugar and acidity, which leads to enamel erosion according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Plus, soft drinks often replace milk for kids, a swap that reduces the amount of calcium kids are getting in their daily diet.

Is juice bad for kids?

Here’s where things get tricky. Juice has what we like to call a “health halo” surrounding it; because one of the major ingredients in any juice is fruit, parents often assume that the beverage is low calorie with no sugar. And juice does include many vitamins and minerals that are good for children.

However, not all fruit drinks are 100% juice unless they explicitly say so on the label. Those that are not 100% juice often include artificial sweeteners and other added sugars. Parents should look for juices that are labeled 100% fruit juice, but even then, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limited the amount of juice children get to 6-12 oz. per day (even 100% fruit juices contain lots of sugar; eight ounces of OJ has 22 grams of sugar and 100 calories).

Why children should drink water instead of sugary drinks

In a nutshell, water has no calories and helps your kids stay hydrated and alert. By teaching them to fill their spill-proof kids water bottles with water, you’re instilling good habits in them that will help them stay happy, healthy, and hydrated as adults.

One of the biggest barriers parents have when trying to make sure their kids get enough water is that kids hate the flavorless taste of water and prefer sugary alternatives. Our solution? Make drinking water fun by giving your kids brightly colored spill-proof tumblers with straws that they’ll love using. Or, try adding fruit to kids’ tumblers for a healthy, natural flavor that they’ll love sipping on.

How will you teach your kids to love drinking water?

 

 

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