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.
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:
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.
Stock your fridge and pantry with only healthy
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.
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.
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
Give your kids rewards when they make the
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.
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.
I think it's a great idea to teach kids how to read nutrition labels. My niece learned about it in grade school.