Health & Fitness

That fizzy drink is the reason your child is overweight

That fizzy drink is the reason your child is overweight

Yes, we know that as a mom and maybe a working one at that, sometimes it’s easier to give your child tuck-shop money. That harmless Coke or Fanta that they drink every day is most probably the reason they are overweight.

We used to think it was what we ate that made us gain weight but an innocent little cold-drink is now the reason so many South African children are overweight.

SA’s recently released National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES) refers to the poor state of children’s school lunches in the country. Of particular concern is the high intake of sugary cool drinks – about 2 in 3 learners buy sugary drinks at least twice a week, with each soft drink containing up to 55g of sugar.

According to nutritional experts, these beverages are loaded with empty calories and provide little or no essential nutrients (and it doesn’t help when you are stuck with a child coming off a sugar rush!).

Nutritionists recommend water or herbal teas as a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks or sugar filled fruit juices, with Rooibos tea topping the list.

Ernest du Toit, spokesperson of the SA Rooibos Council says Rooibos is as effective as water for hydrating the body and has additional health properties that water doesn’t have.

“Rooibos is affordable, tasty and amazingly beneficial for children. It is rich in antioxidants which helps to protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals and can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Rooibos also prevents DNA damage, inflammation and is helpful in combating diabetes.

We have compiled an easy recipe for stocking your kids with tastiest drink on the playground.

Rooibos iced tea:

 One litre of Rooibos tea using four to six teabags.

Sweeten the tea with honey to taste and leave it in the fridge to cool overnight.

Experiment with this basic iced tea, by adding mint, lemon, orange, granadilla, mango or apple, or a combination of flavours until you find one that your children love. You can even get them involved in mixing their own flavours.

Note: Juiced or squeezed fresh fruit usually delivers the best results, but you can also use preservative-free fruit juice. Mixing it with cold Rooibos will make it go further and keeping a jug of it in the fridge should mean you don’t have to keep buying juice. The good news is that cold rooibos can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks without spoiling.

Rooibos ice-lollies:

By pouring some Rooibos iced tea into popsicle containers or ice-cube trays and freezing it, you can also make fun, refreshing, healthy after school or sports treats.

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