Healthy Floyd teaches sugar smarts
Would most people eat three ice cream cones in a row? Probably not. Yet many would not think twice about drinking sodas continuously throughout the day. What folks don’t know is that a 20 oz. bottle of coke contains twice the sugar content of a double-dip ice cream cone.
That’s the message behind Healthy Floyd’s Sugar Smarts Week. For five days in May, Healthy Floyd staff and volunteers taught Sugar Smarts lessons at Willis, Indian Valley, and Floyd Elementary schools, as well as Head Start and Milestones Childcare. PreK-2nd grade students became “sugar detectives,” learning to read nutrition labels to discover just how much sugar there is in beverages such as Mountain Dew, Root Beer, Gatorade, and even popular citrus drinks.
Currently the labels indicate the amount of sugar measured in grams. So how does a gram compare to a teaspoon? If a beverage has 20 grams of sugar per serving, divide by 4 for measurement in teaspoons … 5 teaspoons. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 4 teaspoons a day for school-aged children, and 6 teaspoons for adults.
Sugar Smarts Week culminated with events at all four elementary schools and Jessie Peterman Library on Rev Your Bev Day, a statewide campaign to raise awareness about sugary drinks. Implemented locally by Healthy Floyd, this year’s focus was to offer fruit-infused water as a healthy alternative. Students tasted strawberry, citrus, watermelon and cucumber water prepared by FCHS Culinary Arts students. Many left the Sugar Smarts lessons and events eager to try out their own recipes at home!
Recipes to Try at Home:
Cucumber Melon – cucumber with watermelon or honeydew
Citrus Splash – orange, lime and lemon slices
Very Berry – blackberries, raspberries, mint leaves
Slice up the fruit and/or vegetables.
Stir into a pitcher of water and let chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Add ice, pour into a cup and enjoy.
Have fun experimenting with different fruits, and add some herbs for extra flavor!