According to a recent food and beverage market research report from The NPD Group, a leading global information company, water is a top beverage of choice among adults, but not among children and teenagers. Many adults begin their day with a cup of coffee, but then switch to water mid-morning and continue to drink it for lunch and dinner. Water (both tap/filtered and bottled) represents 46% of all drinkings. However, water only accounts for only 21% of drinkings among children.
While children are served milk with meals, research shows children are very likely to have fruit-type drinks throughout the day. A growing body of research shows that these sweet fruit drinks, even 100%, all-natural, no-sugar-added drinks, can lead to childhood obesity, diabetes, and even tooth decay as they have high caloric and sugar contents. Dr. David Ludwig, an expert of pediatric obesity at Children’s Hospital Boston, contends, “With the possible exception of milk, children do not need any calorie containing beverages. What is needed to replace fluid loss and satisfy thirst is the same beverage we’ve been drinking for millions of years, and that’s water.”
Below are some tips and tricks to help your child choose water:
- Have water available at all times, whether at home or on the go
- Allow your child to have a fun, decorated cup or reusable water bottle just for drinking water. Add a crazy straw and they will be begging to drink water!
- Make the water colder by adding ice cubes in fun shapes, like penguins, puzzle pieces, mustaches, or even jewels!
- For those who love juice, add a small amount of sugar-free flavor
- Set a good example and drink plenty of water yourself!