Peek at Your Drink

Look at the label to find out how much sugar is in what you drink.


  • Identify water and milk as the best drink choices to quench thirst and provide nutrition. 

Lesson Plan

Students should have the general understanding that the more nutrients in a food or a beverage, the better it is for your body and brain. The lessons in this unit present a fun and interactive way to learn about sugar content in snacks and drinks. Kids will increase their decision-making skills as they learn how to read a food label to tell if an item contains excessive amounts of sugar. They will plan and advocate for nutritious snack and drink choices that are low in added sugar.

Set The Stage

Ask kids if they have ever added sugar to their food. What about cereal? Cottage cheese? Strawberries?

Show kids a small container with 10 teaspoons of sugar (approximately 40 grams). Explain that 1 cup of soda or fruit drink can have this much sugar added to it. Tell them if you drink a really tall glass, you would be drinking twice as much sugar! That’s a lot!

Teacher note: Kids may ask about 100% fruit juice as a healthy drink choice. Explain the difference between 100% juice and fruit drinks. 100% juice has natural sugar whereas fruit drinks have added sugar. Nevertheless, too much juice, in any form, can mean too much sugar. It is better to drink water and eat fruit for the most nutrition. 

To use this with your students click here.


Liquid Candy

Some people call drinks with added sugar “liquid candy.” Would you drink candy to quench your thirst? 


Sugar Alert

What drinks are the best choice? Present slideshow so kids can compare the amount of sugar in beverages in both grams and teaspoons. Highlight that chocolate milk can have as much added sugar as fruit drinks! Sodas have the most added sugar. Water and milk are the most nutritious choices!

Call out that the chart on the slideshow shows an 8 oz. serving (1 cup). Many beverage bottles are 12, 16, and 20 oz., so they will contain even more added sugar.

Teacher note: Some drinks with artificial sweeteners show zero grams of sugar. Let kids know that if the drink taste sweet and the sugar line says “0” there are likely to be artificial sweeteners inside. Artificial sweeteners are manufactured substitutes for sugar, they are not naturally occurring. 

Check for understanding: What drink choices are best for your body and brain? 


Drink Tally

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

Close the Lesson

Today we learned that water and milk are your best drink choices to quench thirst and provide nutrition. Next, we will learn about nutritious snack choices. 

Grade: 3-5

Time: 20 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Sugar-10 teaspoons in a container
  • Markers
  • Poster Board or White Board
  • Slideshow

Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Core Concepts-Limit foods and beverages high in added sugar.
  • Standard 4: Interpersonal Communication
  • Standard 5: Decision-Making
  • Standard 7: Practice Health-Enhancing Behaviors
  • Standard 8: Advocacy


Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

  • Self-Management
  • Responsible Decision-Making

Extend the Lesson

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