There is more to a healthy lunch than food

Josh Mene Kids Drink More Water

There is more to a healthy lunch than what you eat. 

An apple a day might help keep the doctor away and could also mean better performance at school. One thing that we tend to think less about is the type of drinks that we are having.

As school has started for most Queensland children this week, Apunipima Cape York Health Council wants to remind families that healthy drinks are just as important as healthy food for good health.

Apunipima’s Community Nutritionist Kani Thompson said it was important for children to form good habits by choosing healthy drinks from a young age. It’s not only important for children but adults as well, and children are more likely to learn healthy habits if they see the adults around them making healthy choices.

“Water is the best choice,” Kani said. “It doesn’t have any sugar in it and it’s free, straight from the tap.” Plain milk is also a very good choice with important benefits such as building strong bones and teeth.

Sugary drinks have become popular choices but they have little or no benefit to health. Sugary drinks refers to all drinks with added sugar such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, cordials, sports drinks, and flavoured waters. An alternative to having a ‘popper’ fruit drink or juice is to have a piece of fruit and water as a drink instead – these are much better choices!

Kani said packing healthy drinks with lunches was easy – keep it simple. “Remember to pack water as the main drink with school lunches. Tetra packs of fruit drinks or juice can be a popular and are an easy drink to add to school lunches, but they have a lot of sugar that growing bodies just don’t need. It’s just as easy to swap them for a water bottle. And adults can take a reusable water bottle to work and keep refilling during the day as needed.”

Too many sugary drinks can harm our health, by causing weight gain and obesity as well as poor dental health in both children and adults.

Top tips for drinking more water at school or work:

  • Take a reusable water bottle that can be refilled
  • Freeze a water bottle the night before to put in school lunch boxes to help keep it cold the next day
  • If you are drinking a lot of sugary drinks start by swapping one for water
  • Drink water before you feel thirsty.

Apunipima is currently leading the ‘Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla’ social marketing campaign to promote key healthy messages around drinking water. A series of videos have been developed with three Cape York communities to promote water as the drink of choice. The social marketing campaign is part of a larger project that involves a range of activities in the communities, that include adults and school aged children.

Apunipima is a partner with the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance to increase awareness, and to tackle high consumption of sugary drinks which has led to overweight and obesity, an increased risk of chronic diseases and, poor dental health.  For more information on sugary drinks and drinking more water go to    

Last modified onThursday, 25 January 2018 04:05