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Zero Sugary Beverages

By: Christy Minges, MMH Registered Dietitian

For the past several months, we’ve been discussing the 5-2-1-0: Be A Healthy Hero initiative.  If you missed past articles, please click the links at the end of this article to learn more!

0: Sugary Beverages
Myth: Fruit drinks are healthy and are needed to provide vitamin C.
Fact: Fruit drinks may have 10 percent or less of real fruit juice and can be loaded with sugar. A better way for kids to get vitamin C is by eating whole fruits and vegetables. When kids eat whole fruits and vegetables, they not only get vitamin C, but also other nutrients and fiber. You get more bang for your buck by choosing whole foods versus juices.

Myth: Kids need sports drinks during and after physical activity.
Fact: Drinking sports drinks during and after regular activity is not necessary and these drinks often contain a lot of added sugar. Even if you choose the low or zero-calorie versions, they still have unnecessary artificial ingredients and food dyes. These drinks should be used only during periods of moderate-to-high intensity activities lasting longer than one hour. Water is the best choice for hydration for all other activities.

Soda is another beverage to avoid. One can of regular soda has about 40 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to about 10 packets of sugar.

Recommended Water Per Day
Ages 2 to 3: 16 to 24 ounces (2 to 3 cups)
Ages 4 to 8: 32 to 40 ounces (4 to 8 cups)
Ages 9+: 50 to 60 ounces (7 to 10 cups)

If you’re wanting to make your water more exciting, infuse it with fruit! Mix five cups of water with 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit, like strawberries, pineapple, melon, blackberries, blueberries or any other fruit.

5: Servings of Fruits and Vegetables
2: Hours or Less of Screen Time
1: Hour or More of Physical Activity