What do we mean by ‘choose water’?
Our bodies are made up of about 70% water, depending on age, physical fitness etc. and water is used by the body to do every imaginable activity. The body maintains a delicate balance that involves excreting water as it rids itself of waste products and stimulating thirst so that we can drink and replenish the body. Maintaining this balance is what is considered an adequately hydrated body.
We get some of the water from food such as soft porridge, apples, watermelons, cucumber or soup, and from drinks such as fruit juice or milk. These, together with drinking water, add up to a person’s total water intake. When the body sends the message to the brain that it is time to replenish it with water, we feel thirsty. When this happens, children should drink clean drinking water. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and in fact most often, children will ask for some form of sugar-sweetened beverage. This is concerning because sugar sugar-sweetened does not quench the thirst, which will lead to more consumption until the child feels full.
High and regular consumption of sugar sugar-sweetened which have a high energy density (hyperlink to ‘energy density and managing portions’) has been linked to the development of overweight, obesity and dental caries in children. By ensuring your child chooses water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, you will contribute positively to managing your child’s total daily energy intake.