What to Drink: Aim for 0 Sweetened Beverages

What you drink is as important as what you eat. The 0 in 5210 Healthy Military Children stands for 0 Sweetened Beverages. Many drinks have added sugar and do not contain vitamins or minerals. Here are 7 tips for choosing better beverages.

  • Be a role model for your family by choosing water! 

    Drink water when you are thirsty, and offer water to thirsty children. Carry a water bottle with you, so you always have something to drink.

  • Add flavor to water.

    Try adding slices of cucumber, lemon, or other fruits. Add crushed ice and a fun straw!

  • Instead of soda or soft drinks, try sparkling water.

    Sparkling water comes in many different flavors. You can also buy plain sparkling water and add a splash of 100% juice or a squeeze of lemon or lime.

  • Keep a pitcher of water in the front of the refrigerator.

    Keeping water in the front of the refrigerator makes it easy for your family to see.

  • Choose a juice that says 100% juice on the label.

    Watch out for labels on juices that say juice drink, juice beverage, or fruit-flavored drink. These are not 100% juice. Juice beverages and juice drinks have added sugar and very small amounts of juice.

  • Avoid added sweeteners by reading the ingredient list on the food label.

    If any of the following ingredients are listed on the food label, the drink has added sugars: sugar, honey, corn syrup, and brown rice syrup. Also look for ingredients that end with “-ose,” such as fructose.

  • Watch the serving size!

    Many bottled drinks and juices contain 2 or more servings.

Remember to aim for 0 sweetened beverages every day!

Additional Resources:

May I Have Some Juice Please?

Smart Snack Tips for Healthy Children

The keys to smart snacking for healthy children include storing snacks where your family can see them; making snacks easy to grab and go; and great taste!

Follow these tips for healthy snacks:

  • Offer a variety of healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, at planned times throughout the day. Let children choose whether and how much they eat.
  • Wash and cut up fruits and veggies so they are ready to eat. Have your child help you place fruits and veggies into containers or bags, so they are easy to see!
  • Buy food in single-serve containers for grab-and-go eating, such as juice boxes, raisins, fruit cups, and baby carrots.
  • Walk your children through the kitchen and show them where you keep healthy snack foods. Put healthy snack foods where children can reach them, such as the lower shelves in your refrigerator, pantry, or cabinets. Keep fresh fruit, such as bananas and apples, on the counter where children can see them.
  • Ask your child what snack foods from each food group he or she would like to eat, and purchase those foods so they are available. Children are more likely to eat foods that they are able to choose.
  • Use clear containers and plastic bags or containers covered with plastic wrap, so your family can see what snack foods are inside.

For a list of healthy snack ideas for kids, visit: