Oct 15, 2016
Water Does Wonders
The goal of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) is to support the well-being of children and create communities where it is easy for them to lead healthier lives. Forty- five communities across Ontario are participating in HKCC and London is one of the selected communities! Participating communities use resources and social marketing tools to promote health through physical activity and healthy eating. Healthy eating is important for growing children. Part of healthy eating includes making healthy beverage choices. Water does Wonders is the current theme of the HKCC.
Water is the natural and easy choice to stay hydrated. During this theme, kids and families are encouraged to reach for water when thirsty instead of sugar-sweetened drinks. Water is sugar, energy and caffeine-free. It is the smart choice to sip on throughout the day. Other healthy options to have at meals are drinks like plain milk and, unsweetened fortified soy beverages.
Did you know that water makes up more than half of a child’s body by weight? Water is an essential nutrient and is involved in many important functions:
-moves nutrients and waste through your body
-helps to keep your blood pressure normal
-protects and cushions your joints and organs
-controls your body temperature
-lowers your risk of dehydration
As children get older, they are more likely to drink more sugar-sweetened drinks. These drinks can be filling, provide little in the way of nutrition and contain a lot of sugar. Sugar-sweetened beverages include drinks like pop, fruit drinks (e.g. punches, lemonade, ice tea etc.), specialty teas and coffees, sports and energy drinks and sweetened milks. These beverages contribute a lot of sugar to children’s diets. For example, one 355 mL can of sugar-sweetened pop has up to 40 grams (about 10 teaspoons) of sugar. You may ask – What about juice? Juice (100%) does contain some vitamins but it also contains a lot of natural sugar. For this reason it should be consumed in moderation (for children about a half a cup per day). A whole piece of fruit or vegetable is a healthier choice because it has the added benefit of fibre.
Reach for water to sip on regularly throughout the day to keep your body hydrated. Plain white milk or unsweetened fortified soy beverages are also good choices. Healthy habits that are formed at an early age, like making healthy beverage choices are often transferred into later life. Remember Water does Wonders … choose it often! Plus did you know you can also eat your water too! Most vegetables and fruits contain up to 80% water and kids do not eat enough of them. Enjoy vegetables and fruits at snacks and meals.
Make it easy to get enough water by:
-Carry and fill a reusable water bottle (at work, play, school)
-Keep pitchers of water on the counter or in the fridge
-Serve water, unsweetened milk or fortified soy beverages at mealtimes
-Have cut up vegetables and fruit easily available with meals and snacks
-Prepare homemade soups with lots of vegetables in them??