Making the Tasty Switch: Choosing Healthy Beverages

Do you struggle with finding a healthy drink choice your child will like? Do you find your child spending more than he or she should on beverages before and after school? It is common for children to be drawn to soda and sports drinks because of their convenience and sweet taste. American teens consume soft drinks at an alarming rate- the majority of teens consume soft drinks every day! Consuming sugary drinks like soft drinks is linked with poor bone health (reference). In 2013, the average household spent about $124 on sugary beverages (reference). However, choosing a healthy beverage can be delicious as well as affordable. In this video, we show how parents and children can make the switch to water, which is a naturally refreshing beverage.

Water does not contain any sugar, making it a much healthier choice than soda and sports drinks. It is also convenient and inexpensive. There are many ways you and your child can “spice up” water to make it more flavorful. Here is a list of healthy ideas to flavor your water:

  • Add fresh lemons, limes, and/or oranges to give it a sweet taste.
  • Add frozen fruit to water to make it sweet and chilled.
  • Make hot tea if you are in the mood for something warm.

Tasty Switch Image Sometimes, teens need a little extra encouragement to make the switch from sugary drinks to healthy beverages. Try these tips to help your teen make the change:

  • Let your child get involved in choosing unique flavor combinations of fruit or tea to add to water.  Call the recipe he/she made up by a fun name using your child’s name, such as “Samantha’s Snazzy Strawberry Sipper!”
  • Start with small steps by replacing sugary drinks served at dinner with water, then work up to including water at all meals.
  • Make a bulk batch of your favorite fruit water to drink throughout the week to save time. Encourage your teen to fill up his/her water bottle using this batch each day.

To learn more about ways for you and your child to make smarter drink choices, visit MyPlate.

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