Every parent wants the best for their children’s health, but healthy eating and drinking habits start in early childhood. Your children will make better choices both at home and when eating out (like choosing water over sugary soft drinks) when they have the choices instilled early.  A recent article from Asia One News shows that even Parliamentary Secretary for Health Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim says his children learned the habit of drinking water at a young age and friends and relatives are amazed to learn that his son likes to drink water.

Associate Professor Faishal’s son is 12 years old while his daughter is 16 – a tough age to force your kids to make good decisions and drink water. But, when the habits are learned as young children, they are more likely to choose water as a beverage without the struggle. He stressed how healthy lifestyle choices and the resulting positive long-term effects can help Singapore become a healthier nation, and we believe the same can be true for the United States. In a time where health and obesity are in need of a change for the better, drinking water is a great start.

He was speaking at the launch of the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB’s) Let’s Drink Water Campaign, held at the My First Skool kindergarten in Yishun Street 61 yesterday. As part of the campaign, HPB will work with schools to encourage children and youth to drink water instead of sugary beverages. This will be done by introducing water breaks between lessons in primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges, for instance. A 2009 HPB survey set off alarm bells when it revealed that almost half of Singapore teens aged 13 to 18 drank sugary drinks on a daily basis. These results are very similar to the patterns we see here in the United States. Programs to encourage drinking water should be started early in life. “Excessive consumption of sugar is associated with obesity, and obesity is a risk factor in Type 2 diabetes.”

When encouraging your family to drink more water, it is also important to know what is in your water. Increasing water intake could also mean increasing contamination intake. With the chemicals and contaminants that are tested and not tested, a water filter is a great tool to protect your family as a line of defense. Drinking water systems will effectively reduce harmful contaminants and allow your children to drink more water, and better water, at the same time. Push your children to make healthy choices starting with drinking water at an early age.