Rethinking Sugary Drinks

Learn which beverages are healthy and hydrating.

About the Activity

In this activity, kids will learn nutritional facts for different beverages. By the end, they will have a better understanding of which drinks are the healthiest options to keep them happy and hydrated.

Tucson Village Farm (TVF) is an urban farm built by and for the youth of Pima County Arizona. It was developed in partnership with the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona. A great way to start this activity is by watching Rethink Sugary Drinks, TVF’s educational video that covers the differences between water and sugary drinks.

Grades: 3-5
Topic: Healthy Living
Estimated Time: 1 hour

Brought to you by Walmart Foundation and University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

A kid taking a drink break while playin

These simple materials will get you started.

  • Three beverages with nutrition facts (example: bottled water, milk, soda, or juice)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • A red and green marker or crayon (or two different colors)
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Activity Steps
Follow these steps to complete the activity.

  1. Take a moment to collect all three of your beverages. When choosing your drinks, try to include water as one of your options.Did you know? Humans, plants, and animals need water to survive. Water is the best way to stay healthy and hydrated no matter what species you are. Learn more here.
  2. Before you complete the activity, make a prediction! Sort the three beverages in order of the most to least healthy.Did you know? Sports drinks could cause you to have less energy? Sports drinks can be just as sugary as soda. Drinking too much of them can cause dehydration, stomach aches, and drain your energy.
Cans of soda
  1. Record the nutrition information from each beverage using your worksheet. You can print out the PDF or hand-write the worksheet using pencil and paper.
  2. Compare the nutritional value of each beverage, and highlight the best in green and worst in red.Did you know? There are two types of sugars: added sugar and natural sugar. Added sugars are added to beverages for flavor and are in things like energy drinks, soda, and most juices. Natural sugars are created in fruits and dairy, plus are beneficial to our bodies!
  3. Now that you have compared the nutritional information of each beverage, how does it match up with your prediction about the most and least healthy beverages?Did you know? One way to add flavor to your water is by infusing it with fruit! Strawberries, pineapple, and lemon are just a few of the many fruits that will give your water some natural flavor and sweetness. Learn how to make infused water here.

Reflection Questions
Questions for your kids and teens.

  1. Were you surprised by any of the nutritional facts or ingredients in your beverages?
  2. Why do you think water is so important for human, animal, and plant survival?
  3. How can you use nutritional facts to make healthier choices for beverages and other foods?
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Investigate and Explore
Take what you've learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.

Staying hydrated is essential to living a healthy life. Dehydration takes place when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. So when you sweat a lot while playing sports or while playing with friends, it is important to drink plenty of water so that you don’t dehydrate. In addition to keeping your body hydrated, water also takes care of the inside of your body. We are made of 70% water, which makes up the majority of our blood, digestive juices, and sweat.

The next time you're thirsty, take a moment to remember how water will quench your thirst, plus keep your entire body functioning.

A reusable water bottle and basketball sitting on the ground

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