Children’s Activities: Healthy Beverages
When teaching children about nutritious choices in your early education or family child care program, be sure to include lessons and activities about healthy drinks. Planning engaging children’s activities and setting a good example are powerful ways to get kids to make healthy drink choices, like milk and water.
Water keeps active children hydrated. It is best for quenching thirst and it doesn’t fill their small stomachs with empty calories. With meals, it’s best to serve milk but water should be made available too.
Some fun activities to encourage healthy habits:
- Have “water” or “milk”-themed weeks.
- Designate a “water helper” during meals or outings.
- Include healthy drink containers in your play kitchen.
- Add fresh fruit to flavor water.
- Read the book Potter the Otter to teach kids about healthy vs unhealthy drinks.
When children are actively engaged in what they are learning, they are more likely to remember lessons and develop healthy habits as they get older.
Family Child Care Tip:
How to Make Water Easily Available
Encouraging children to drink more water doesn’t mean you have to have a water fountain in your home. Keep kid-sized pitchers of water filled and provide small cups. Use a shower caddy to carry water and cups outside, or invest in a small portable water cooler.
What Should Preschoolers Drink?
This article from Nemours’ KidsHealth talks about the best drinks for kids — milk and water. Also discusses the detriments of soda and caffeine.