Rethink Your Drink
What are sugary drinks?
- Sugary drinks are drinks that contain added sugar
|Sugary drinks can include:|
What can happen if my family drinks too many sugary drinks?
- Too many sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay, weight gain and obesity
- Obesity puts your child at risk for other health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes
- Sugary drinks often replace healthier choices such as vegetables, fruit and milk that children need to grow and be healthy
What are the best drink choices for my family?
The best choices are drinks without added sugars
Choose these healthy drinks most often:
- 1% or 2% (white) milk
- Fortified soy beverages
- 1% chocolate milk*
- 100% Juice**
*Chocolate milk has added sugar, but it is still the healthy option for children who refuse to drink 1% or 2% (white) milk. 1 cup (250mL) is one serving of milk or fortified soy beverage. Canada's Food Guide suggests: children aged 4-8 have 2 servings a day - children aged 9-14 have 3-4 servings a day.
**½ cup (125mL) of 100% juice is one serving of fruit and vegetable. 100% fruit juice is fine in small amounts, but whole fruit has more nutrients. Whole fruit is better for your child than juice.
How do I know how much sugar is in a drink?
- To learn how much sugar is in a drink, read the Nutrition Facts label
- On the label, the total amount of sugar is written in grams
Choose drinks with the least amount of sugar
Where is sugar hiding?
There are many different names for sugar. The "Ingredients Lists" will tell you what type of sugars are in a product.
Look for these sugars in your drinks:
If any of these sugars are listed as the first or second ingredient on a drink label, the drink is likely high in sugar.
What can I do now?
Cut back the sugar one drink at a time
- Choose water first
- Replace sugary drinks in the fridge with a pitcher of water
- Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon for flavour
- Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice
- Mix chocolate milk with 2%, 1% or skim milk for less sugar
When eating out:
- Calories can add up quickly - drink water, 1% or 2% milk instead of sugary drinks
- Ask for water with lemon or lime slices
- If you choose a sugary drink, limit the amount and skip the refills
At school, work or play:
- Carry a reusable water bottle
- Pack milk in a reusable container with an ice-pack to drink with your lunch