Staying hydrated is key to surviving the heat in Central Texas, but sometimes drinking plain water can get a little boring, especially for the young ones.
So what do we drink when water gets boring and you need some flavor?
The CHOICES Nutrition Education team is always looking for fun and interactive ways to help kids practice healthy habits and this summer is no exception.
Fruit infused waters are a wonderful and refreshing option during the summer, and a healthy substitute for high-sugar sweetened beverages. Sugar sweetened beverages are high calorie contributors, and according to the Hidden Sugar campaign by Healthy Beverage Partnership, too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
One sugary drink per day can lead to a 25 percent increased risk for type two diabetes and consumers are a 55 percent more likely to become overweight or obese, according to the Healthy Beverage Partnership.
In our Sugar Savvy Class, third to fifth grade students calculate the amount of sugar found in common high-sugar sweetened beverages; they learn the recommended sugar intake limits and the importance of drinking water. The kids also do a matching activity where they try to guess which sugar container matches the amount of sugar in their favorite sugar-sweetened beverage drinks. At the end of the class, the kids create their own fruit infused water in a reusable Food Bank water bottle that they keep.
Nutrition Educator Beatriz Bravo is excited to teach the kids how easy it is to create a flavorful drink using water, herbs and fruit to stay hydrated.
“It is always interesting to see the surprise faces of the kids when they calculate and measure out the actual sugar content found in common high sugar sweetened beverages,” Beatriz said. “I also love to see them make their own water using their favorite fruits and see their eyes brighten when they discover how refreshing the water taste just with the natural flavor of fruit and herbs such as basil or mint.”
The CHOICES Nutrition Education team strives to empower the community with the skills needed to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information about scheduling classes, contact our Nutrition Education Manager, Mary Agnew, RDN, LD at firstname.lastname@example.org.