How to Choose Healthy Drinks for your Child

Juice trends have been around since the 1970s. It has always been popular because it is a great way to enjoy the daily servings of fruit and vegetables in a drink format. Juicing is a great option for children to get their nutritional needs. Though there are many juices out there, the main reason to drink juice is to get liquids into your diet. Make market nutritional choices by reading labels before you buy something for your child. Here are a few simple tips to keep your child healthily hydrated with beverages.1

 

Water

Water is the source of life and people cannot go without it for an extended period. Water carries vitamins and nutrients around your body to the cells that need it. On average, a child should have about six to eight glasses of water every day. Soups, juices, watery fruits and vegetables can add to the daily water intake. Watermelons, cantaloupe, pineapples, and cucumbers are example of natural high water content food items.1, 2

 

Milk

Milk is often attributed to children having strong bones and muscles. Milk is a good source of liquid nutrition because it provides protein and calcium for a growing child. About two glasses (250ml glass serving size) of regular milk or plant based is recommended for kids daily. It has to be part of a healthy meal plan to be effective.1, 3

 

Fruit and Vegetable Juices

If your child is reluctant to eat whole fruits and vegetables, juicing it will get past that. Make sure the juices throughout the day all amount to at least two whole fruits and three to four vegetables a day. Avoid adding additional sugars to the juices because most fruits seasonally contain all of the sugar necessary. A drawback of juicing is that a majority of fiber is thrown out in the pulp. Pulps can be added to cooking to gain back some of that fiber. Because juicing allows a child to technically consume more fruit, the calories can add up. Work around this by using fruit as a natural sweetener (eg. mangos and apples)  to vegetable juice.1

 

Sweetened Drinks

Packaged drinks are an easy fix to making your own juice. As attractively packaged as they are, never go beyond the recommended serving suggestions and never used as replacements for real natural foods in a child’s diet. Check with a pediatrician first before starting them on them because you never know what they may be allergic to.1

Reference(s):

  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/pre-school/healthy-drinks#
  2. https://www.efbw.org/index.php?id=46
  3. https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20121213/cups-milk-preschoolers#1