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March 26, 2013

Dressing Up Water

by Hansa Bhargava, MD

The other day, my daughter said, “I’m thirsty.” So of course, being a pediatrician, my automatic response was, “Drink water.” Her response?

“That’s boring. Can I have a drink box instead?”

Juice drinks can have lots of added sugar, which has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Let’s face it: Too much sugar is bad. And although 100% juice does have some benefits, the problem is that there is a lot of sugar (albeit natural) in it as well.  Let’s say you drink a glass of orange juice. That is probably the sugar equivalent of three to four oranges.  But you don’t get all the benefits of a real orange, for example fiber. The AAP suggests about ½ cup (4-6 ounces) of juice a day for kids up 6, and 8-12 ounces for kids over 6.

Really, water is the drink of choice. So how do you make water more appealing?

That day, my daughter and I made water a lot of fun. We cut up strawberries, put them in the water, and mixed it up really well, so the water turned pink. Ellora put in a straw, drank it, and announced, “I love strawberry juice.” Soon her twin brother was downstairs asking for it, too. Suddenly, in our home, water was a cool drink!

Do your kids think water is boring? How have you encouraged your kids to drink water?

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