This week’s Tuesday Tip for Picky Eaters: Have a glass of water.Henry loves water! He loves bath time. He loves swim class. He loves helping me water the garden. And he loves drinking water at meal times.
Henry will stop eating and stretch his arms out wide when he wants water. If we don’t catch this signal quickly enough, then he will start moaning until we give him a drink. When he sees us bring a cup of water in his direction, his feet start to swing with glee. Then, he lunges toward the glass ready to take a gulp.
It turns out that giving your kids a glass of water with their meal makes it more likely they will reach for healthy foods too. Earlier this year, researchers found that children eat more vegetables when their drink is unsweetened. The preschoolers in the study ate more raw carrots and peppers when they were given water than when they were served a sweet drink.
Whether its soda, sports drinks, fruit drinks or energy drinks, sweet drinks are detrimental to child health. Sweetened drinks, including diet soda, increase the likelihood of childhood obesity, high blood pressure and other risk factors for diabetes. They also contribute to dental problems including tooth decay and enamel erosion.
The next time you sit down for a meal with your kids bring a pitcher of water to the table for everyone to share. It’s a good choice for their health and it may get them to eat more veggies too.