If you always shop for the entire family, healthy drinks must be present in your shopping list. Health-conscious people usually choose drinks that are advertised as “healthy” beside water, such as milk and orange juice. However, how much do you know about these supposedly “healthy” beverages? Have you actually considered how much or how little of certain drinks you should buy?
Water may be too plain for the entire family, and you are welcomed to buy alternative beverages. However, remember that many popular beverages are marketed with high budget, and this can affect how you perceive the supposedly “health benefits” from them.
Choosing the Healthy Drinks when Shopping
From various beverages you can find anywhere, there are some that you can drink often, some that should be consumed in moderation, and some that should be avoided (or at least rarely consumed). Here are family shopping tips for beverages based on how many times you should buy each product:
Aside from the tap water (if your tap system is potable), bottled water is definitely a safe beverage to buy and drink every day. If your kids are bored with the same beverage, try plain carbonated water with ice cubes and mint or freshly-squeezed citrus fruits in it.
Homemade flavored water.
Another good option to drink every day, flavored water can be made at home by cutting up fruits such as strawberries, lemons and oranges, and put them in big jar of water. Put it in the fridge for several hours. The water now will have subtle fruity flavor, but is healthier than bottled flavored water in the market that has a lot of sugar and artificial flavoring.
Boxed or bottled juice may look like healthy alternative for family beverage, but many boxed juice products in the market have high level of added sugar. The products may be fortified with vitamins and minerals, but the sugar defeats the health purpose. Also, boxed/bottled juice products do not have as much fiber as the actual fruits. American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents do not give their children more than 6 ounces of boxed/bottled juice a day. It is better if you give the kids actual fruits.
Milk is definitely healthy, since it contains vitamin D and calcium and good for kids. However, it is not a magic beverage, so you don’t need to go overboard with milk shopping. Tips to buy healthy drinks like milk are: choose the low-fat/fat-free variant, do not buy milk with added sugar or artificial coloring, and make sure the milk is fortified with other nutrients beside calcium and vitamin D. Kids between 1 and 8 years old can drink 2 cups of milk a day.
Remember, fruit-flavored drinks are different from 100% juice in boxes or bottles. Fruit-flavored drinks are simply water with a lot of sugar, artificial coloring, and other additives. They are not ideal beverages to be bought often, unlike actual juice that is still made of actual fruit juice (since you can still choose the low-sugar option of the juice).
Soda and energy drinks.
Soda and energy drinks are not ideal beverages to purchase often, especially for kids. They contain high amount of sugar and caffeine, and can affect your children’s health.
Buying healthy drinks is important when you plan for family grocery shopping, so make sure you know what to do when faced with so many drink options.