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Kids Who Drink Water Over Soda Pick Healthier Foods

Kids Who Drink Water Over Soda Pick Healthier Foods

Quick question: Put yourself in the mind of a child. What goes better with Doritos? A tall glass of cool water, or a can of newly opened Orange Crush? Remember, you are a kid. If you answered a glass of water, well, that would be wishful thinking. Nope, recent studies have shown that children who drink sugary sodas prefer salty junk food snacks that complement the sweet buzz that comes with fizzy soda, whereas children who drink plain old water show more of a preference for healthier snacks like raw vegetables, namely carrots and red peppers.

According to the study, Researchers T. Bettina Cornwell and Anna R. McAlister surveyed 60 young adults, ages 19 to 23, about their preferences for different food-drink combinations. The young adults greatly favored the winning combination of salty junk food and soda, rather than the less preferable choice of soda and veggies. The researchers also tested 75 children, ages three to five, who were served either a sweetened beverage or plain water with their vegetable snacks on multiple trials. The preschoolers (a more malleable group) in the trials ate more raw vegetables when they were served water instead of a sweetened soda. The conclusion would be that, while the young adults are already damaged by years of indulgence, the young children still have a chance, providing one is given to them, to eat healthy and avoid negatively compounded eating habits.

Do you tend to serve water with meals? Have you noticed an improved appetite among children for healthier foods depending on what drink is served with meals?

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Read more: Caregiving, Children, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Eating for Health, Family, Food, Healthy Schools, Parenting at the Crossroads, Teens, ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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5:02AM PST on Mar 8, 2013


9:48PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

This makes sense. They tend to mirror the healthy choices they see at home.

9:42PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Naturally water is the better choice, but don't encourage children to drink with meals, it's really bad for the digestion. Eat first, then drink later.

9:34AM PST on Dec 16, 2012

good to know

11:20AM PST on Nov 13, 2012

The part where it said that young adults who chose soda over water were already damaged by years of indulgence is scary to read.

3:47AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thank you.

3:46AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thank you.

9:10AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Sodas taste like cough mixture. Plus I like my Doritos with water.

3:14PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

my son does NOT get sodas.. or a lot of junk. I actually offered him chips today since I had grabbed a bag, and he wanted (and ate!) 2 mangoes instead!

2:27PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

This is so true I see it all the time with my nieces and nephews..Thanx/

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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