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Rethink Your Drink

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Teacher Showing Kids Science ProjectDo you know how much sugar is in your drink? A Rethink Your Drink campaign is a great way to teach kids about the amount of sugar that can be found in commonly consumed beverages, as well as their impact on health. Encouraging kids to rethink their drink challenges them to make healthy beverage choices and consume more water.

Take Action

  • Host a Hidden Sugars Demonstration to provide a visual representation of the amount of sugar in popular sweetened beverages using sugar cubes, sugar packets or teaspoons of sugar.
  • Use a stoplight image to teach kids about drinks they should drink rarely (red), occasionally (yellow), and plenty (green).
  • Teach students to read the ingredients on food labels to identify common high-calorie sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, dextrose, fructose and sucrose.
  • Allow students to bring a water bottle to class to stay hydrate throughout the day.
  • Host a taste test with water infused with lemons, limes, berries, cucumbers, mint leaves or other natural flavors.
  • Post educational signs near the staff lounge, main office, cafeteria and vending machines to help students, staff and visitors identify the healthiest beverage options.
  • Install a water bottle filling station at your school to offer free, cold, filtered water to students and staff.
  • Explain the importance of water to students. Adjust your explanation based on the age of the student. Here’s some basic information:
      • Water is an essential nutrient for life—we can’t live without it!
      • Water represents about two-thirds of our body weight.
      • Water is part of every living cell, and it’s a medium for all metabolic changes (digestion, absorption and excretion), as it helps transport nutrients.

Social Emotional Health Highlights

Activities such as these help students explore…

Self-Awareness and Responsible Decision Making: Children may be able to recognize overconsumption of sugary drinks  as a problem, but they may not see how it affects them personally.. For children to develop healthy habits they have to learn how to identify problems, analyze solutions, and reflect on choices. A rethink your drink campaign can teach students the skills they need to make positive decisions for their own health, helping them to develop further self-confidence and self-efficacy. Increasing children’s self-awareness helps them to better recognize how our bodies feel when we are dehydrated or consume too much sugar.


Involve students as much as possible! When conducting Hidden Sugar Demonstrations, let students guess how much sugar is in each drink or measure the number of teaspoons of sugar in each beverage.

Remember, 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar is equivalent to 4 grams of sugar.

Encourage students to drink water first when thirsty.

Serve water, 4-6 ounces of 100% fruit juice or low/non-fat milk at school celebrations and events.


Ask parent volunteers to chop fruits for an infused water taste test.

Have volunteers reach out to local businesses to donate reusable water bottles.

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