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About two summers ago, I started to take notice of our family’s eating habits – not only what we were eating, but how we were feeling and what we looked like. We were constantly on the go, which meant a lot of eating out, take out and snacks. Like so many other families, we have a million things to do on a daily basis, and almost everything we ate was a quick throw-together meal. I started looking at the ingredients that were in the things we were eating, and the thing that rang out the most to me was the amount of sodium and sugar that we were all putting into our bodies. And it was not good.
I realized that it wasn’t only in the foods we were eating, but in what we were drinking. What’s the harm in an iced tea here and a lemonade there? A diet soda, every once in awhile? A sports drink after a long sports practice? The truth is, there wouldn’t be a whole lot wrong with those things if they were actually not so often. But each one not so often means that almost daily we were consuming lots and lots of sugar and other not-good-for-you ingredients.
Small Changes, Big Results
We started to make small food changes to eat healthier. These changes included trying to eat organic fruits and vegetables and having my kids bring lunch to school more than they were buying lunch. We made a cognizant effort to start reading the labels on the food. Proud mommy moment when my 12 year old son says “How could you think about drinking that, it has 32 grams of sugar!”
Another change that we made was to start incorporating smoothies into our diets. Healthy drinks with lots of flavor, loaded up with different vegetables and fruits – all healthy choices. One ingredient that is delicious to put into our smoothies is Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water. So much better for us than a sports drink, coconut water is full of electrolytes and potassium (has more than a banana!). No fat, no cholesterol, low calories and super low sugar make it a perfect addition to our smoothies. Try it here with this coupon!
But (because there’s always a but), what happens when we are on the go? My kids get bored with ordering just water every time we are out, or taking a plain old bottle of water with them. Sometimes they need some variety, just to make sure they don’t get bored with being healthy.
Variety is the spice of life, right? We headed over to Wal-Mart to pick out a few different healthy style drinks for our kids to test, let them pick their favorite and understand why it’s a healthier choice than other things they have the options to consume. All of these drinks were easy to find and we had a big selection to choose from.
Our final contenders were Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water (health benefits noted above), Diet Snapple Peach Tea (gluten free, 10 calories), Snapple Straight Up Tea Unsweetened (zero calories, brewed from Black Tea) and Neuro Bliss Summer Citrus Berry flavor (lightly carbonated, low sugar, Vitamin D). Have you tried any of these? Get crackin’ and try them with this awesome Ibotta rebate (if you aren’t a member, sign up and start earning money every time you shop!).
Healthier Choices for the Whole Family
Wouldn’t you know, we all liked different drinks! Each of the drinks has health benefits, our favorite was that they all had low or no sugar. This is a huge difference from the standard sports drinks that my kids have historically chosen.
Our choices were as follows
- Vita Coco Coconut Water – my favorite because of all of the health benefits. Electrolytes and potassium, and much better for you than a sugary sports drink. Plus, if you close your eyes while drinking it, you feel like you’re sitting on a beach on an island somewhere….
- Diet Snapple Peach Tea – 12 year old son’s favorite because it feels like he’s drinking a sugary drink, but it is better for you.
- Snapple Straight Up Tea Unsweetened – husband’s favorite, he’s a huge fan of unsweetened iced tea
- Neuro Bliss Summer Citrus Berry – 9 year old daughter’s favorite because it’s slightly carbonated, which makes her feel like she’s drinking a soda, but again, it is better for you.
Going forward, we are all looking at labels and making better choices – we won’t be perfect all of the time, but these choices are all delicious so why not drink healthy? These drinks are a simple reminder that you don’t have to feel like you’re “missing out” when you’re making healthy choices.
What is your go-to healthy drink? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.
As an added bonus, enter below to win a $50 Walmart gift card plus a $150 fitness tracker in the #SipAndBeFit Sweepstakes!