It is always really useful to have or at least know some facts about drinks so you can give your children a healthy one. You probably expected this, but honestly, the best drinks for children are water and milk. Here is some more information for you, just so you would be able to plan your little one’s diet properly.
All the people and especially children lose water all the time through their lungs, skin, urine and faces. Obviously, the water your child has lost is best replaced by tap water. There is an extra plus - the fluoride in tap water also helps protect his teeth. That is why water is ideal for children.
We all are aware of a fact that babies start life with milk. Breast milk is clearly the best. Even if formula is okay too, it should be used if breastfeeding is not possible. At about 6 months, your little one may be introduced to solid foods. And only at about 12 months, you can introduce your child to regular cow’s milk. Full-fat milk is better than low-fat milk up to the age of 2. The fat in regular milk provides extra energy that toddlers need. They are growing rapidly at that time. Breastfeeding can continue, but there is no need to continue with infant formula. Also from about the same time, you could already use rice and oat milk if you would prefer this option. But you should know that these drinks do not have enough protein and vitamin B12, so children would need to have plenty of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, yoghurt or cheese, just to make up for what they are not getting from cow’s milk. Do not forget to avoid goat’s, sheep’s, coconut and almond milk before the age of 2.
Drinks to be limited or avoided
You should not give babies fruit juice. It can interfere with their appetite for breast milk or formula. For the little ones fruit juice are not suitable. It can contribute to tooth decay, especially in bottles. For a little bit older children, pure fruit juice with no added sugar can be included, but only occasionally.
Drinks with added sugar are surely not recommended. This includes soft drinks, cordial, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks. They do increase the risk of children becoming overweight and it can lead to bigger problems later.
Tea, coffee, coca cola and energy drinks contain plenty of caffeine. They are not suitable for children. The dose of caffeine in these drinks is quite high for a child compared with an adult. Caffeine can disturb children’s sleep and make them jittery.
How much sugar is there in the drinks?
A standard can of a soft drink might contain up to 40 to 44 grams of sugar. That is the equivalent of 10 to 11 teaspoons. A bottle of sports drink can have as much as 7 to 9 teaspoons. A cup of fruit drink can have more than 6 teaspoons of sugar and the same amount of vitamin water can have up to 3 teaspoons. Sugary drinks are acidic, and so are artificially sweetened drinks. They both damage tooth enamel.
Hopefully this list will help you to make sure your child is drinking proper fluids and that he will grow up as an healthy and happy adult in the future.