The New York Times issued a 7-Day Sugar Challenge and I’m thrilled to participate! Each day I’ll share a tip and an easy recipe from my new book, Half the Sugar, All the Love, to get you started on your way to cooking with less added sugar. If you’ve already got a copy of Half the Sugar, All the Love, you’re ahead of the game! If not, grab your copy HERE.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your added sugar intake is to drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored beverages. Sugary drinks represent 50% of our added sugar intake. So making a small change in this department makes a tremendous impact. You don’t need to commit to never having a soda, for example, but limiting your consumption to the occasional indulgence instead of making sugary beverages an everyday habit will result in positive changes in your health.

It’s also important to note that there are new beverage guidelines for kids that were released earlier this year. Juice should be limited, no plant-based milk, and no sugary beverages.

Day 4: Stop Drinking Your Flavors (aka drink water)

For Day 4 of The New York Times 7-Day Sugar Challenge, your goal is to drink water. To make water fun and flavorful, try adding fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to chilled water. This video that I produced for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with Dr. Anisha Patel and her team, highlights some easy ways to make fruit water.

Another fun idea: add chopped fruits and vegetables to an ice cube tray, add water, then freeze to make fruit cubes.

Fruit Cubes | Half the Sugar All the Love | Jennifer Tyler Lee

I’d love to hear how you encourage everyone in your family to drink more water. Add your ideas to my list of 100 Ways to Hydrate.

Half the Sugar, All the Love is packed with over 100 recipes to enjoy your favorite foods in a healthier way. The secret is using fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to sweeten instead of added sugar. It’s available wherever books are sold.

Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee