Drinks for Kids
Water provides essential support for our body. We need to drink water every day, and the best and cheapest water source is a tap. Tap water is free and the healthiest drink for kids.
Remember that water loss happens naturally, but the rate at which it occurs increases in hot weather and with exercise. Try to replenish any water loss by increasing your fluid intake to compensate. So, remember thirsty? Choose Water!
Why drink water?
Water has no added sugar, so it is a much healthier choice than fruit juices, soft drinks, and other sweetened beverages like bubble tea or sports drinks. It is also the best drink for quenching thirst.
Water helps to:
· Control body temperature.
· Protect organs and tissues in your body.
· Keep the body moving and working properly.
· Carry oxygen around the body.
· Protect against tooth decay.
· Digest food.
While flavoured water may seem a good alternative, it is still considered a sugary drink. Such flavoured waters often include citric and other fruit-derived acids contributing to dental decay.
Plain, reduced-fat milk is also a great choice for your kids. Milk has calcium and protein, which helps kids to grow strong bones, muscles and teeth. Be careful about kids drinking flavoured milk as they are often filled with high amounts of sugar.
Blending fresh or frozen fruit with yoghurt and/or lite milk can also create a refreshing drink. Remember that you only need two servings of fruit each day.
Drinks to limit
Juice, flavoured milk, soft drinks, bubble tea and sports drinks should only be consumed sometimes and in small amounts as they can contribute to:
Reduced bone density and osteoporosis,
Type 2 Diabetes,
Fruit juices are high in sugar and low in fibre. It is better to offer your child a piece of fruit instead as it will help them to feel full and satisfied. Soft drinks, cordials, flavoured mineral waters and other drinks with added sugar should be avoided as they have no nutritional value, and put your child at risk of excess weight gain and tooth decay.
Each can of 'soft' drink consumed per day increases the risk of becoming obese by 60%!
Drinks with caffeine and energy drinks should not be consumed by children as they can affect their sleep patterns, behaviour, and development.
Use the Live Lighter Sugary Drinks Calculator to check how much sugar your kids have had this week.
See the Raising Children Network website for a video on Junk Food and Soft Drinks.
Diet soft drinks are acidic and can cause tooth decay. They have also been linked to overeating and weight gain, so should be consumed very occasionally, if at all.
Work out how much sugary drinks are costing you with the calculators below:
Tips for drinking more water