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Healthy Drinks for Kids

Children often do not realize that they are thirsty. Between school, homework and play, they can get dehydrated easily without even noticing any signs or symptoms. Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, reduced mental alertness and mood swings. The body requires adequate levels of fluids in order to function properly. Good hydration levels are also necessary for proper bowel movements.
Maintaining proper hydration in childhood will help to prevent various diseases and disorders from occurring later on in life. Therefore the best thing you can do is to offer them beverages at regular intervals. But children should not be given just any drinks. Nutrition is essential at every stage during childhood and it is important to ensure that kids are getting their nutrition even through their drinks. There are various options of healthy drinks for kids and described below are some examples.

Water and milk are two of the most nutritional drinks for kids. Children should have constant and easy access to water throughout the day. Water is so important for survival and proper functioning of the body that many schools today are even giving children free water bottles which they can carry with them at all times. Children should be drinking more water than any other beverage. In case your child is fussy about drinking plain water, add a thin slice of lemon or even a small amount of fruit juice to give it some flavor. You can even try giving your child sparkling mineral water. One of the best breakfast drinks for kids is milk. Some mothers also prefer to give their children a glass of milk before bedtime. Plain milk is the ideal example of healthy low sugar drinks for children. It does not lead to teeth decay and supplies essential vitamins and minerals to the body. Whole milk should be given to kids until the age of two years. Following that, you can give them semi-skimmed milk along with a balanced, healthy diet. It is advisable to avoid giving children skimmed milk until they are past five years. Some children may dislike drinking milk and flavored milk serves as a good alternative. However they contain added sugar and hence must be restricted to just once daily along with a meal. Cow’s milk does not get digested properly in babies below 12 months of age. Breast milk is the ideal food for babies during this time. Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D and hence plays a significant role in bone health. Milk also contains calories and hence its servings should be restricted in case of overweight children. Drinks for kids with low sugar also include unsweetened fruit juices. Do not buy juices that are labeled as ‘juice drink’ as these contain very small amounts of juice and large amounts of sugar. Even pure fruit juices which are labeled as unsweetened still contain natural sugars and this can contribute to tooth decay. Since fruit juice may lead to tooth damage, it is best to serve them at mealtimes. Children require five portions of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis and one glass of pure fruit juice counts as part of that. Fruit smoothies are also a good example of non alcoholic drinks for kids. But they can be high in sugar and hence must be served in moderation. A good way to increase the nutritional content of fruit smoothies is to use whole fruit instead of concentrate. Fruit smoothies serve as ideal homemade drinks for kids. Healthy drinks for kids with fiber include vegetables juices such as carrot juice.

Fruit squashes and fizzy drinks are not healthy fruit drinks for kids as they are loaded with sugar and carry minimal nutritional value. They should be served along with meals only and must be diluted properly. Fizzy drinks and colas are unhealthy for kids due to the additives and high levels of sugar them contain. They are also expensive and provide no nutrition at all. Excessive intake of such drinks can lead to dental decay, obesity, skin disorders, low bone density and problems in concentration. It is essential to stop buying such drinks completely so that children do not get into the habit of drinking them. Many parents are on the lookout for the best sports drinks for kids. This is especially true in case of children who are active in sports and physical training. However it is important to note that sports and energy drinks are not at all good for kids. They have been associated with weight gain and dental problems and are also rather expensive. Even protein drinks for kids are not such a good idea as they get adequate amounts of protein through the diet. In case there is excessive intake of protein, it may accumulate in the body as fat. High levels of protein in the body can also lead to kidney problems and dehydration.

Drinks for Toddlers

Probitoic drinks for toddlers are known to be beneficial as they help to reduce the risk of infections such as sinusitis, ear infections and flu. Some studies have shown that probiotics are also beneficial for children with autism, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. High calorie drinks for toddlers such as sweetened beverages and juices are unnecessary and should not be part their diet.

Drinks for Children

There are several recipes for healthy and delicious drinks for children. Children love chocolate and peanut butter and you can treat them to both by making a chocolate peanut butter shake. Add a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream, a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, two tablespoons of peanut butter and quarter cup of milk to a blender. Blend the ingredients for a minute and serve. Some tasty natural drinks for children also include milkshakes made with fresh fruits such as strawberries, mango and banana. A banana and oatmeal smoothie is one of the most nutritious drinks for children. Simply combine instant oatmeal, banana, milk and orange juice in a blender. Blend until smooth and then serve.
Submitted on January 16, 2014