Monday, September 25, 2017

5 Tips For Encouraging Kids To Choose Healthy Drinks

A child’s dislike for nutritious foods will have negative effects on their health. If their diet does not cover the essential food groups for children, your kids will be missing out on a lot of important nutrients that play a crucial role in their growth and development.

Aside from various foods, kids can get the right amount of nutrients they require from the beverages they drink. It is important that even at an early age, children know how to make smart decisions regarding the beverages they drink.

Helping Kids Make Healthy Beverage Choices

You can help your kids get the nutrients they need from healthy beverages and avoid the unhealthy ingredients that a lot of carbonated, high-calorie and sugary drinks have through the following ways:

1.     Be a role model

Kids, especially toddlers, love imitating all the actions of their heroes – their parents. As such, use this to your advantage to get your children to drink more healthy beverages.

This means taking the lead in drinking more water and making healthy beverages choices at home, in restaurants, and whenever you go shopping. When they see you ask for a glass of water or buy milk instead of a can of a soda, your kids will likely follow suit. If you just made a fruit smoothie, ask your kids if they want one, too. It’s very likely they will say yes, especially if you make a show of how much you like the healthy concoction you just made.

2.     Stock your fridge and pantry with only healthy drinks

The most effective way to prevent kids from drinking carbonated, sugary drinks is to stop buying them altogether. Instead of keeping a stash of canned fizzy drinks and sweet artificial juices, stock up the pantry and fridge with healthy options only.

Make sure you have bottles of mineral water, milk, a pitcher of lemonade (made from fresh lemons and some honey), and jugs of fresh, homemade fruit juice. Even if your kids are not fond of these beverages, they can soon develop a liking to them, especially if you take the lead in drinking these healthier options.

3.     Encourage your kids to drink more milk

Nutrition advisors always remind everyone that milk is still the most nutritious drink around for both children and adults. It is rich in vitamin D, calcium, protein and magnesium – nutrients that help build healthy bones and teeth. Milk also provides the nutrients kids need when they don’t get them from the foods or meals they eat.

Aside from encouraging your kids to drink a glass of milk at breakfast or bedtime, you can also add it to the foods or dishes they eat so that you can increase their consumption. For instance, you can use milk instead of water if you’re making tomato or pumpkin soup. Don’t forget to add milk to smoothies so that you can get them to consume fresh fruits and increase their calcium and protein intake at the same time.

4.     Teach your kids to read labels and be aware of the unhealthy ingredients certain beverages contain

If your children can read, let them go over the labels of the fizzy or sugary drinks they like. Explain to them that the artificial ingredients are not good for their body. When they know the ill effects of these drinks, your kids will understand the importance of making healthy beverage choices.

Your child’s pediatrician and dentist can also help you with encouraging kids to avoid unhealthy drinks. When you take your little ones for a checkup, ask the doctor or dentist to explain the bad effects of carbonated and high-fructose drinks and how making better beverage choices can benefit their health.

5.     Give your kids rewards when they make the right choices

Lastly, positive reinforcements always work great in encouraging kids to try nutritious foods, and this will work as well in improving their beverage choices. When you give your children incentives to make healthy choices, they will be encouraged to change their habits.

You can give the reward immediately if your kids choose a healthy beverage or you can let them accumulate points so that they can get a grander prize. For instance, if they get the number of stars you require from drinking water and other healthier beverages instead of unhealthy ones all week, the family can have dinner at their restaurant of choice or watch a movie at the local theater.

It can be tricky to get kids to go for healthy beverages instead of extremely sweet and unhealthy ones. Your children, though, will gain more health benefits by choosing water, milk and other natural, nutritious drinks. And the sooner they learn to make the right choices, the better it will be for their growth and development and overall health.



AmeriBev said...

America's beverage companies agree that children and adults should be mindful of the calories they consume from sugar. We are committed to being part of real solutions to public health challenges with initiatives like Balance Calories, which aims to reduce sugar and calories consumed from beverages across America. We also have voluntarily placed clear calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack we produce. Through our School Beverage Guidelines, we voluntarily removed full-calorie sodas from schools, replacing them with a range of lower-calorie and smaller-portion choices. We respect the role parents' play in guiding their children's choices, and value the role of education in teaching balanced lifestyles.

1AlwaysNYC 1 said...

I think it's a great idea to teach kids how to read nutrition labels. My niece learned about it in grade school.

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