Drinks such as soda and juice with added sugar are unhealthy for young children. They can also cause weight gain, obesity, and cavities. In the early years, it can lead to unhealthy cravings as kids grow. Quick changes in blood sugar can also cause mood changes. The good news is, it can be fun and easy to get kids to drink more water.

Share this story with children, then try one of the recipes for “fruity water” from the story (or invite kids to get creative and invent their own). Keep in mind:

  • When unsweetened, frozen or canned fruit is as nutritious as fresh!
  • Preschoolers need extra water to drink when they are physically active or when it is hot outside.
  • Drinking water between meals and snacks helps oral health because it helps rinse food from children’s teeth.
  • Provide water breaks before and during active play.
  • Let your child see you drinking water!
  • Keep children’s cups within reach by the sink so older kids can help themselves.
  • For safety*, cut fruit into bite-size pieces (children can eat them from the bottom of their cup with a spoon). Mash up smaller fruits such as blueberries and blackberries (or chop into pea-size pieces).

Community Gardens

Point out the fruits that the friends grew in the community garden. These gardens can be a great way to get healthy food and also to get involved in your neighborhood, and many donate to food pantries. To find one near you, enter your zip code here.

*Further information on choking hazards (check out this list of age-by-age recommendations):

  • Cherries and grapes should be cut in half.
  • Cherries, peaches, plums, apricots should be pitted, and watermelon pieces and slices shouldn’t have seeds.
  • For fruit with skin such as apples and peaches, remove skin and slice.