Objectives for Students

Students will be able to:

  • Recall water and milk as the healthiest drink choices.
  • Identify the amount of sugar in a beverage using its food label.
  • Identify fruit as the healthier choice over fruit juice. 


View/Print Grades 3-6 Educator's Guide



View/Print Student Materials

Session 3                            Session 5

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Education Standards

View/print  Common Core and Health Education Standards alignment.

Prior Knowledge

Students know that FOOD is their fuel to power their body and brain. They can use a stoplight to guide food and drink choices: Green foods are best, go for it! Go slow on yellow foods, eat just a little. Red means stop and think about your choice.

This week's topic will help students to understand that many beverages contain excessive amounts of sugar and that choosing water or milk is the best choice for fuel to power their body and brain.

fit Tip

When you are thirsty, drink water instead of juice or soda. Want some flavor?  Add some fruit or a vegetable...like a cucumber!

Family Message

Healthy foods and drinks are the best kinds of fuel to power your body and brain. Your child is learning that many drinks contain excessive amounts of sugar.  Did you know that just one sweetened 8 ounce drink a day can add up to over 20 pounds of sugar in one year! 

The best drink choices? That’s easy, choose water and fat-free or 1% low-fat milk.


Get started! Launch slides below to begin the lesson.

How Sweet It Is!

Select player to view  the Sugar Counts video. 

This captivating video shows why its a good choice to steer clear of sugar. It really adds up!

FOOD is Fuel

Review what students have learned about FOOD: Healthy, wholesome FOOD is the best fuel to power your body and brain.

Let students know that they are going to learn how to read signs on drinks (labels) to help them make the best choice.

FOOD Labels

Ask students to bring an empty beverage container or a beverage label to school.

Signs are Everywhere

Understanding a food label is a lot like reading signs in everyday life. Have your students try to decipher the unorthodox road signs. If they need a boost, feel free to offer a hint!

Just like roads have instructions or warnings, so does your food.

Label Lingo

Explain that labels are like signs, they tell you what you need to know.

Tell students that labels contain a lot of information. When it comes to choosing a drink, look at the sugar line.

Sugar Detectives

Read the sugar line on labels brought from home.

Sequence labels by asking students to line up according to the grams of sugar per serving. 

As a frame of reference, explain that a gram weighs about the same as a paper-clip. There are about four grams of sugar in one teaspoon. 

Liquid Candy

Select the link to watch the Liquid Candy video.


Sugar Alert

Which drinks do your students think are best?

The slides show sugar content in both grams and teaspoons.

  • Water and non-fat or 1% milk are the best choices. 
  • Chocolate-flavored milk, juice, and sports drinks can have as much sugar as soda or fruit-flavored drinks.

Tally It Up

Students use  the Drink Tally handout to track their drink choices for one day.

Rusty and Trusty's Drink Choices

Read about Rusty and Trusty's drink choices.

How do your students' tally sheets compare to Rusty and Trusty's drink choices?

The Juice on Juice

The joke is on you if you think that a small container of juice is the healthiest choice. 

Explain that juice drinks usually contain more sugar than water or milk.

Select the link to Food Fight slideshow.

Think Your Drink

Students can make their own healthy drink by adding fruit and/or herbs to your water! So drink water and eat fruit!

While you're at it, why not try a new kind of milk? Soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are all delicious! 


Sports and Energy Drinks

Select the player to link to Power Drinks: Sweet and Powerful Facts.

It All Adds Up

Remind students that sugary drinks, like sports and energy drinks, are everywhere!

Explain that labels show sugar in grams. There are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon.

To convert grams to teaspoons, divide a spoon into four parts and color one part for each gram of sugar.



Challenge Others

Students create “Think Your Drink” posters Think Your Drink poster templates.

  • K-2 students draw a picture of a healthy choice. 
  • Grades 3-6 show how much sugar is in the drink by coloring 1/4 of a teaspoon for each gram of sugar. Make one poster for water or milk, and a second poster for another drink.

Students challenge others to choose beverages with little or no sugar.