Children often replace healthy drinks like milk or water with sugary drinks like punch, soda, sports drinks, and fruit drinks. Drinking too many sugar-sweetened drinks, as well as eating sugary foods like candy and cookies, can lead to dental cavities and may increase the risk for overweight, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, some children are developing type 2 diabetes because of poor diets and overweight.

Help children develop healthy habits by serving water instead of sugary drinks at every snack. Drinks with artificial sweeteners are not a healthy alternative, because the long term safety of artificial sweeteners is unknown. You can also teach children and their parents the many different forms sugar can take. High fructose corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, honey, cane juice, molasses, and malt syrup all mean one thing: SUGAR!