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water if life for growing healthy kids

Kids drinking soft drink


Tap water and milk are the best drinks for kids. Sweet drinks are NOT needed in a healthy diet because they have no nutritional value.  Packaged fruit juices are also high in sugar and acid, and low in fibre.

Drinking juice and other sugar based drinks can cause weight gain and increase the chance of tooth decay. It is far better to eat a piece of fruit, because that will help the child to feel full and satisfied.

Drinks containing caffeine -like tea, coffee and so-called 'energy' drinks- should also be avoided, since they may affect a child’s sleep patterns, behaviour and development.

Tips for drinking more water

  • Remove high-sugar drinks from the house
  • Everyone in the house should role-model drinking water as the main drink
  • Encourage the use of re-fillable water bottles at school and when going out
  • Keep chilled water in the fridge and make cups or bottles easy for kids to access
  • Add flavour to water using cucumber or a slice of lemon, orange or lime
  • Freeze a water bottle to put in lunch boxes
  • Choose sparkling or mineral water instead of soft drinks

Recommended fluid intake:

  • Children 4-8 years 1.2L fluid per day (about 5 cups)
  • Children 9-13 years 1.4-1.6L fluid per day (about 6 cups)

See the Raising Children Network website for a video on Junk Food and Soft Drinks.


[Source: DoH – Get up and Grow; Healthy Kids; Raising Children Network; NHMRC nutrient reference values


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