Give your child the best start in life

Thirsty Kids Drinks Guide

Thirsty Kids Drinks Guide

 

 

Stocking up on healthy drinks for your children ahead of time is a great way to forge healthy habits.

It can be tempting for children to grab the first thing they see when they are thirsty.   It is important the refrigerator stocked with healthy drinks so that they don’t reach for those sodas too often.  But it can be a challenge to know which drinks are healthy and which are not.  Read our guide below to stock up on the best drinks for thirsty kids and worst drinks for thirsty kids.

 

An important note before you proceed.

The information we have given here is for children who are older than 1 years of age.  Babies who are under 6 months old should drink only breast milk or formula based on the doctor’s recommendations. Babies who are between 6 and 12 months of age can drink little bit of water.  Experts suggest that you wait till your child turns 1 to introduce them to cow’s milk.

 

Water

Water is one of the healthiest drinks to stock up on and carry around.  Fill up your refrigerator with your children’s favorite bottles with water and in different colors.  Place them in the front so that that is the first thing you children grab when they are thirsty.  In fact, water helps prevent constipation, prevent urinary tract infections and regulates body temperature.  It doesn’t add any calories or sugar to your child’s diet.  Water also provides fluoride that is important for healthy teeth.

 

Flavored water

There are many flavored waters available in the grocery store.  They contain a lot of sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors and even some vitamins that your children don’t need.  Some may even contain caffeine or additives that can harmful for young children.

A great way to flavor water is to squeeze some fresh juice at home and add it to water for the mild flavoring.  If you are going to buy one, look for one that does not have added sugar.

 

Cow’s milk

This is a beautiful source of vitamin D and calcium that young children need.  Most children will get enough calcium if they drink 16 to 20 ounce (400ml to 500 ml) a day according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Cow’s milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D as well as protein and other nutrients that are important for healthy growth. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most kids will get enough calcium and vitamin D if they drink 16 to 20 ounces of cow’s milk a day. Whole milk is  best for 1 year old children.  Low fat milk is alright for children who are 2 years old and older.  Try and limit to no more than 3 cups of milk a day as your child may not have enough space for others foods.

 

Lactose-free or reduced-lactose milk

If your child is lactose intolerance, then look for milks that lactose free.  The good news is that they have the same nutrients as cow’s milk and your child might like it more since it is sweeter.

 

Breast milk

Sometimes toddlers may prefer breast milk to regular milk.  It still is a great source of nutrients and this can also provide the emotional support needed.

 

Soy milk

While it can be a good substitute for cow’s milk, it is important to note that it has fewer nutrients.  Your doctor may recommend a vitamin supplement if your child reaches for the soy milk.  Look for a brand that has fortified calcium and Vitamins A, D and B12.

 

Cultured dairy beverages: yogurt drinks, kefir, acidophilus

Most of these items have the same nutrients as milk, some do not contain vitamin D.  Make sure to read the label before you buy them.  Some of the dairy beverages are made with live bacteria cultures that can help with digestion, but one serving may just not be enough.  And if you opt for the flavored yogurts, then please note that they do contain added sugars.

 

Almond milk

Made at home, they are delicious.  Look for brands that have calcium, Vitamins A, D and 12.  It’s super easy! Our DIY almond milk recipe is a great alternative store bought.

 

Fruit juice

Homemade fruit juice is the best kind.  Along with all the fiber, you can also pick on the fruit of season.  The whole fruit is a better choice, but fruit juice with the pulp is a good alternative.

 

Vegetable juice

Tomato and other vegetable juices (carrot, celery) are great for little children.  They can be a great way to feed your children the vegetable servings for the day.

 

Homemade lemonade

This is great to stock up on at home. These can be a great drink any time of day and when you serve it chilled, it is a favorite among young children.  Try out our fresh lemonade recipe.

 

A few drinks to stay away from or have very little of…

Soda and diet soda

Sodas in general have no nutritional value.  They contain artificial flavor and color.  They also have high amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners.  The best option is to make fresh juice at home and just for that fizz effect, add a little bit of sparkling water to it.

 

Teas: Green, black and herbal

While regular tea (green or black) has antioxidants, that are good for you, it may also have caffeine.  If you do want to serve your child tea, then limit it to a small ¼ cup with milk.  When it comes to herbal teas, it may be best to restrict it all together as they have no nutritional value.

 

Sports drinks and Energy drinks

These have no nutritional value. Most energy drinks contain large amounts sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine. Some may contain herbs that may not be safe for children.

 

 

 

MORE ON Feeding and Nutrition