When it comes to keeping active kids hydrated, water is the clear winner. It keeps the body cool, replaces any fluids lost through sweat, and helps kids feel energised to learn and play throughout their day. Best of all, tap water is freely available!
Sugary drinks, like soft or sports drinks, are not necessary for kids to stay hydrated at school or playing sport. Water is best as the drink of choice for healthy growing kids. A standard 600ml sports drink contains around 9 teaspoons of added sugar – that's more than the recommended daily intake for kids of added sugars.
To help kids stay hydrated, make sure they:
- Drink plenty of water during the day and before they start playing sport or hitting the playground
- Take sips of water when they take a break during physical activity
- Finish sport sessions with water and a healthy snack to replenish their energy afterwards
- Encourage kids to bring their own refillable water bottle – it's healthy and sustainable!
In schools, providing access to free drinking water is important. At Vic Kids Eat Well we love hearing about sustainable water bottle refill stations that are promoted and easy for kids to access. Other schools let their families know that they have a ‘water only’ policy. If there’s a drinks fridge, our tip is to place the healthier drinks on a shelf at students’ eye level to increase their popularity and uptake.
At Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services, it’s wonderful when water is freely available and encouraged in every session. Many Vic Kids Eat Well OSHC services are reducing cordials in favour of water: awesome!
Meanwhile, we’re hearing about sports clubs putting up posters to encourage kids to drink water at games instead of sugary sports drinks. Young players deserve a healthy start, and these clubs are making it happen!
School and OSHC leaders, coaches and clubs can play an important role in promoting water to kids and the wider community. If you’re not already a member, join the Vic Kids Eat Well movement to refresh the fridge so kids can thrive. We've got loads of handy resources to support your organisation to make simple, healthy changes to improve food and drink options for kids. You'll also receive hands-on support from a health promotion professional to help guide your way.
Check out our resources
SCHOOL – How to Guide – Refresh the fridge
SPORTS CLUBS – How to Guide – Refresh the fridge – Water is promoted and freely available
OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE – How to Guide – Refresh the fridge
SPORT AND RECREATION FACILITIES – How to Guide – Refresh the fridge
COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES – How to Guide – Refresh the fridge – Reduce sugary drinks