The battle to get your family to drink healthier beverages can seem like the uphill sort. With all these heavily advertised sodas and sugar-laden sports drinks all over the television and magazines, it’s easier for you and your family to step off the healthy path. It’s imperative they know just how dangerous to your health sugary drinks can be. Soda drinkers are more likely to have a lower intake of important nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and calcium. These drinks are also the leading culprits in weight gain, dental problems and even injuries to calcium-deficient bones! Introducing healthier choices into your family’s regular diet is key.
There are many health drinks on the market these days, but do we really need to spend the money? These drinks can be a nice treat once in a while, but the healthiest drinks we can give our family may already be in your fridge – or tap.
Think water. Whether this universal element is flat, fizzy, flavored or plain, water is an essential component to your family’s health and fitness. It is the perfect beverage and is important for many bodily functions and also helps fill you up.
You also need to be aware that there are many drinks masquerading as water that have artificial sweeteners added. Check all labels of any bottled water to ensure you’re not getting more than you’ve bargained for.
There are also many ways to liven up a glass of water if you have the picky types in your family. Instead of flat water, you can have flavored seltzer waters, or lime, lemon or other citrus fruit slices added to your glass (cucumber is also quite refreshing).
Keep water in your children’s backpacks to encourage water consumption throughout the day.
Next is milk. Low-fat and fat-free milk are healthful beverage alternatives and the best option for your family next to water. Milk contains calcium and protein, which our diets are often lacking. Soy milk is also a great alternative to cow’s milk, especially for the lactose intolerant.
100% fruit juice is another healthy drink for your family. It’s solely juice from the fruit with no sugar or preservatives added. You get all the benefits of the fruit without having to eat it (although that is always the better and healthier option). It’s great for the busy family who doesn’t have the time for a nutritious snack. Some juices can be quite potent in flavor, but can be diluted to each of your family member’s needs and preferences.
As well as fruit juices, vegetable juices are also very beneficial. It’s a great low-calorie choice to get your daily dose of antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C, and other nutrients like lycopene – which has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer!
Homemade unsweetened teas, or store-bought unsweetened teas, can be beneficial calorie-free options as well. Black and green teas have proven health benefits, such as decreasing rick of cancer and lowering cholesterol. An alternative to sugar for an added sweetness, is to use some of the previously mentioned fruit juice for a delicious blend. Teas also come in many family-friendly flavors such as berry, orange, and cinnamon. Just be sure to read all labels when buying bottled teas.
Basically, the battle for a healthier family who make healthier drink choices can be won. All you need to do is look in your refrigerator, rather than at your TV.