What's that you're drinking?

Updated:Apr 8,2014

Hey Kids, what's that you're drinking?We all have our favorite drinks we get when we get thirsty. But did you know that just like eating healthy food, we need to drink healthy drinks?

Look at this chart with your parent and check to see whether each drink is healthy, not healthy, or okay to drink sometimes. Post this chart on the refrigerator as a reminder and to encourage your whole family to switch to healthy drinks with you!

Type of DrinkWhat's in it?How does it help my body?Why should I be careful?Should I drink it?Is it healthy?
Regular sodaIt has a lot of calories* but no nutrients** (See the definition down below if you don't know what a calorie or nutrient is.)Even though soda may taste good, it does not give any of the nutrients that your body needs.Soda provides more sugar than your body needs, which can cause not only weight gain, but also tooth decay and cavities.*** Yikes!The less soda you drink the better; try drinking water or fat-free (skim), 1 percent fat, or low-fat milk instead.YES

NO

Sometimes
Diet sodaDiet soda doesn’t have any calories, but it doesn’t have any nutrients either.Diet soda does not provide any of the nutrients your body needs.Like regular soda, diet soda can lead to tooth decay and cavities too.Diet soda is okay to drink occasionally, but be sure to drink enough water and fat-free (skim) milk to make sure you are getting all your nutrientsYES

NO

Sometimes
Fat-Free Milk
(Skim Milk)
Many good nutrients your body needs, like calcium and protein. These help you build strong bones and muscles.Calcium helps to keep your bones and teeth strong and protein helps you build strong muscles.Not all milk is the same. Some milk contains a lot of extra fat (like in whole milk and 2% fat milk) that your body doesn’t need. Make sure to grab ones that say fat-free (skim) or 1% fat..To get enough calcium and protein, you will want to drink a few glasses of low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk every day. Try having a glass at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or for a snack.YES

NO

Sometimes
Chocolate MilkMany good nutrients your body needs, like calcium and protein. The chocolate and other flavors of milk are okay, but they have some extra calories from sugar that regular milk doesn’t have.Calcium helps to keep your bones and teeth strong and protein helps you build strong muscles.Make sure to get low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk so that you aren’t drinking too much fat!To get enough calcium and protein, you will want to drink a few glasses of low-fat (1%) or fat-free(skim) milk every day. Try saving chocolate and other flavored milks for occasional treats or desserts.YES

NO

Sometimes
Water, Just water!There are no calories in water, but it is something that your body needs plenty of.Water helps your body do its jobs like keeping your body temperature cool and helping you digest food. Also, water helps you control the number of calories you eat and maintain your weight. It is important to drink water every day. Our bodies are mostly made of water; it is in all of our cells, tissues, muscles, everywhere! So be sure to get your fill to keep your body from getting thirsty.YES

NO

Sometimes
Sugary drinks (Like flavored drinks and sports drinks)A lot more sugar than your body needs.Some sugary drinks (like sweetened juice, fruit drink, fruit punch) may have some of the nutrients you need, like vitamins and minerals, but should not take the place of 100% juice or water.Sugary drinks provide more sugar
than your body needs,
which can cause not only
weight gain, but also tooth
decay.
The less you have of these sugary drinks, the better. Look for drinks that have fewer calories and get nutrients from drinks like fat-free (skim) milk.YES

NO

Sometimes
Energy drinksSome energy drinks contain a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners, caffeine and other chemicals that you can't even pronounce.Even though  energy drinks may wake your body up for a while, they often have a hard "crash" after the effects wear off.Having energy drinks may increase the chances of developing an abnormal heart rhythm and it increases you blood pressure, which can strain your heart.Try drinking a full glass of water if you feel tired, or lay down for a 20-minute cat-nap. Both of those things can help energize you during an afternoon slump.YES

NO

Sometimes
100% Fruit JuiceThe 100% juice label means that everything in the bottle came from a fruit or vegetable, but not necessarily the fruit or vegetable you think you’re drinking.Drinking juice isn’t a substitute for eating fruit, but it can be healthier than some sugary drinks. Know what you’re drinking!Calories from juices can add up quickly. For example: 4 oz of 100% grape juice has 76 calories!Sometimes — and you can even eat it! Put 100% fruit juice in an ice tray and freeze it to make mini-popsicles.YES

NO

Sometimes

*What is a calorie? A calorie is a way to measure how much energy is in food. We can eat too many calories or not enough. Depending on your age, size, amount of physical activity and gender, you will need to eat a certain amount each day.

**What is a nutrient? Nutrients are substances found in food that provide our bodies with important things to work and grow. Some nutrients are minerals, some are chemicals, and some are vitamins. Examples of nutrients are protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and fiber. By eating foods that have a lot of nutrients our bodies will feel and work better.

***What is tooth decay and what are cavities? All of our teeth have hard coatings called enamel, that help to protect our teeth and keep them strong. Certain foods, like sugar and soda, can break down the enamel, making our teeth weak. When our teeth are weak, things like cavities can form. Cavities are holes in the tooth where the enamel has gotten very weak.
 
Download a printable version of this information.

Answer Key: Regular soda: No, Diet soda: No, Fat-free milk (skim milk): Sometimes, Chocolate milk: Sometimes, Water, Just water!: Yes, Sugary drinks: No, Energy drinks: No, 100% Fruit Juice: Sometimes.

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