1. Stop buying sugary drinks
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the best way to cut back on sugary drinks is to stop buying them. This helps you and your whānau stick to healthy drink options such as tap water and plain milk. Keep away from the sugary drink aisle in the supermarket to avoid temptation. They may be on special a lot, but water at home is cheaper.
2. Be prepared when you go out
When you go out, take a refilled (non-plastic if possible) water bottle for each family member so you have a healthy option available and aren’t tempted to buy sugary drinks if you get thirsty. This will also save you lots of money, especially in summer when it’s hot.
3. Use a drink bottle for school
Make sure your child has a re-useable drink bottle for school and fill it up with water only. If they run out at school, they can fill it up from the water fountain.
4. Watch out for takeaway drinks
If you’re ordering takeaways or fast food and it automatically comes with a sugary drink, ask for it to be replaced with water.
5. Offer non-sugary options only
If you have people coming around or are preparing meals for your family, only offer non-sugary drink options. You can spice up water any time, or for a special occasion, by adding some ice and a slice of lemon, lime, strawberry or other type of delicious fruit.
6. Be careful of “healthy” claims
Watch out for packaging and health claims written on some drinks. They might claim to be “healthy” or “contain vitamins”, but they could also be high in sugar so always check the nutrition label.
7. Reduce sugar in hot drinks
If you have sugar in your coffee or tea, cut it back gradually until you aren’t adding any sugar at all. Herbal teas are a tasty option and have no added sugar.
8. Cut back on alcohol
Some alcoholic drinks are high in sugar so choose a lower sugar option or try cutting back on how much you drink. Be careful what you mix your alcohol with because fizzy drink or soda will increase your sugar intake. Too much bubbly water is also bad for your teeth, so go easy on that, too!
9. Get your community involved
Ask your school or local sports club to remove sugary drink options from the canteen and vending machines.
10. Water at sporting events
If you or your child play sport, water is the best option for rehydration. Sports drinks are high in sugar and acid and not necessary to drink, unless you do extreme sports.