Great alternatives… in more ways than one!

Water: nothing beats it!

Water is the best way to hydrate. Indeed, it meets our body’s needs for liquid perfectly well. Plus, it’s free. Though its fresh, pure taste might not appeal to everyone, there are endless ways to jazz it up and turn it into a treat. Just use your imagination!

Learn to like it!

If plain water is not your cup of tea

To cool off…

Flavoring water offers an interesting alternative to vary the pleasures. There are a variety of flavors to try at home, that are tasty and healthy for your body and teeth.

For 2 cups of water (500 mL), add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of fresh or frozen fruits. Adding herbs is optional.In most cases (except for strawberries and bananas), the fruits remain tasty and can be eaten afterwards. No waste! Avoid commercial flavored waters, as well as liquid or powdered flavors to add to your water. Not only are they often sweetened, they are also acidic and can cause dental erosion.

At home, limit the addition of citrus fruits (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit), since they can also affect dental health.

Not all flavored waters are equivalent.

Logo GREHDThank you to the Groupe de recherche et d’éducation en hygiène dentaire (GREHD), for evaluating the acidity and security level for dental health of non sugary drinks used as occasional alternatives to water consumption.

So-called “diet” drinks:
not really a healthy alternative

However low in calories, these are not necessarily healthy options. Here’s why:

  • the acidity of these non-nutritional drinks contributes to dental erosion,

  • they keep alive a taste for sweetness and the desire for sweet foods,

  • children and consumers of large quantities of these products are at risk of exceeding the maximum daily dose set by Health Canada for the various artificial sweeteners on the market.

”Diet” drinks should not be consumed every day!

Milk, dairy beverages and slightly sweetened yogurt drinks

Milk and soy beverages provide the body with protein, vitamins and minerals. They are nutritional drinks that can be consumed on a daily basis.

Beware of their flavoured versions (e.g. chocolate milk or beverage), which are sometimes very high in sugar.

Tip 1: in a blender, add a few small fruits or some cocoa to milk or plain yogurt and, if needed, a little sugar.

Tip 2: when you choose milk or a sweet flavoured milk beverage, serve a smaller size and dilute it with plain milk.

Flavored milk and dairy beverages should not be drunk every day.

Fruit juice

Unlike “fake” juice (e.g., beverages, cocktails, punches), pure fruit juice has a certain nutritional value and provides the body with vitamins and minerals.

However, as they are high in natural sugars and calories, it is best to drink them in moderation and in small servings.

One serving of fruit juice corresponds to 1/2 cup (125 ml). The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends limiting pure fruit juices to a maximum of 120mL per day for children.i

i Canadian Pediatric Society (2017). Healthy eating for children. Juice and water. Consulted on July 6, 2107 at

Not every day and in small servings.

Vegetable juice

High in vitamins and minerals and lower in sugar than fruit juice, vegetable or tomato juice is generally a good option if you are looking to vary what you drink.

Opt for versions with the least salt and in small formats.

You can also make them yourself at home with your favourite vegetables.

Beware of some commercial vegetable juices, that are sweetened by adding fruit juice and contain more free sugars.

Tip: served in a cup, broth can be an excellent accompaniment to meals, in addition to warming you up. Opt for versions with the least salt or make your own at home.

Low salted vegetable juice and broth can be consumed on a daily basis.


For more ideas…