Toddlers drink predominantly sweet drinks. While parents, carers and professionals indicate it is important to find that young children learn to drink water. This is shown by a national sample of the drinking behavior of children between 0 and 4 years.
The research was commissioned by JOGG (Jongeren Op Gezond Gewicht) by research agency Motivaction. According to professionals, water is used in childcare and primary education and parents drink much less than sweet drinks by children between 0 and 4 years. Syrup and thick juice are the most drunk. On average, toddlers drink 2.3 glasses of sweet drinks per day compared to 1.1 glass of water.
Getting used to water prevents obesity
"Young is taught, old is done. It is important that young children drink water. Water is available everywhere in the Netherlands, a good thirst quencher and contains no calories ", says Paul Rosenmöller, ambassador of JOGG. The fact that sweet drinks are fatteners has recently been demonstrated with a study by Janne de Ruyter, researcher at VU University Amsterdam. "Children, who have been drinking lemonade with artificial sweetener instead of sugar for a year and a half, appear to have lost one kilo less in weight after one and a half years than those who get lemonade with sugar," she says. "However, giving drinks with sweeteners is not ideal. Young children then get used to quenching thirst with a sweet taste ".
No unwillingness, but ignorance
There appears to be no unwillingness, but of ignorance. For example, almost two thirds of parents and professionals are aware that there are more than five sugar cubes in a soft drink, but only a quarter know that a glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar. A minority (40%) of the parents also think that toddlers like water. Only 18% of professionals estimate that children like water.
"Discussions with managers and nursery school managers show that young children like water, and that giving sweet drinks instead of water at nurseries is more of a habit than based on knowledge," says Janne de Ruyter. "Practice shows that switching from sweet drinks to water is not that difficult. We hear back that it takes about two to three weeks before toddlers are used to it. The best strategy seems to be to keep 100% sweet drinks out of the door instead of partially switching ".
The support for stimulating drinking water is great. 80% of parents and professionals think it is important that children between 0 and 4 years get used to drinking water. The majority of parents and professionals also applaud the fact that childcare centers and nurseries encourage the drinking of water.
JOGG supports daycare centers
"JOGG has the ambition, together with the JOGG municipalities, to fully transfer daycare centers to offering water instead of sweet drinks within the next six months", says Paul Rosenmöller. In order to help the JOGG municipalities in this, JOGG will, among other things, distribute DrinkWater cups to day nurseries and playgroups.
JOGG is the movement for a healthy environment and healthy youth. Public and private organizations work together in cities, villages and neighborhoods to make healthy eating and exercise easy and attractive for young people. It is a local and sustainable approach that has proven to be effective in converting the increase in overweight among young people (0-19 years) into a decline. Municipalities fulfill a management function and ensure coherence and cooperation. There are now almost thirty JOGG municipalities that work according to the JOGG approach.