What do you choose to drink when you are thirsty? Do you want something sweet? Something to quench your thirst? Or something refreshing?
Just like eating habits, drinking habits are formed in the early years, so it pays to think about what you offer your child. Of course, when young, getting the biggest bang for the nutrient buck is key because little tummies are tiny which means nutrient-rich liquids are important. In the first two years of life, breast milk, infant formula and eventually a milk (dairy or non-dairy) source are the most important liquids to offer baby. Juice is okay too, in very small amounts (4 ounces per day).
However, when young children get a taste of the sugary sweetness like that found in juice or fruit drinks, their little taste buds become primed for this flavor, and the groundwork for a sweet preference is laid. Parents need to be careful with sweet drinks! Over time, children who drink juice or soda are more likely to have problems with their weight than those who don’t drink these beverages.
Just like we can train children to eat nutritious food, we can also train them to drink water. Get into the habit of offering water between meals when children are thirsty, and avoiding using other beverages like soda, fruit juice or sports drinks. A simple explanation like, “We drink water when we’re thirsty,” can help children learn the importance of choosing water as the go-to drink.
Think it’s too late to train your kids to drink water?
One mom I know was experiencing headaches every day in the mid-afternoon around the time her children were returning home from school. She figured out that she was dehydrated, which was causing her headaches. To combat them, she started drinking a glass of iced water mid-afternoon, which quickly relieved the problem.
Now, everyday she makes a glass of iced water for herself and she also has a glass ready for each of her children when they walk in from school. She doesn’t ask them if they want it, she just hands it to them, and they all drink it, no questions asked.
What a great way to get the whole family drinking water!
We all have a choice every time we grab a drink, and when we choose water we do one of the best things we can to feel more focused, healthy and refreshed.
Water anyone? You are what you drink, so Drink Up!
I am joining First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Eva Longoria and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) on a mission to encourage more Americans to make an easy choice to improve their health by drinking more water.
To this end, I am giving away two Drink Up glasses to one lucky winner!
- Mandatory Entry: How you get your family to drink water? Tell me in the comments below.
- For a Second Entry: Like Let’s Move on Facebook. Let me know you did below.
- For a third chance: Like Just the Right Byte on Facebook. Let me know below!
This giveaway will end on Friday, October 25, 2013 at midnight. You must be over 18 years old to enter and live in the U.S.
Disclosure: I was asked to write this post by the Partnership for a Healthier America; Drink Up glasses were given to me.