Q: My children actually don’t like ingesting water. Can I give them juice and sports activities drinks as an alternative?
A: Together with milk, plain water is one of the best drink alternative for youths. Why? It is tremendous wholesome, with zero energy and no added sugar. It helps maintain joints, bones and tooth wholesome, helps the blood flow into and can assist children preserve a wholesome weight into maturity. Being well-hydrated improves temper, reminiscence and a spotlight in kids. And naturally, faucet water is way inexpensive than sports activities drinks, sodas and juice.
Water doesn’t should be boring! There are many methods to entice everybody within the household to drink wholesome and keep hydrated all through the day. Being a superb position mannequin is a good way to assist make water a part of your kids’s routine and will get them within the behavior of ingesting water earlier than they’re thirsty. Listed below are just a few twists so as to add some enjoyable:
- Infuse water with lemons, berries, cucumber or mint for some added taste. That is a straightforward option to maintain the entire household coming again for refills.
- Hold vegetables and fruit which can be excessive in water content material useful. A number of the finest greens are cucumber, zucchini, iceberg lettuce, celery and tomato. Prime fruits embody watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries and grapefruit.
- Freeze fruit in ice cubes to make your drinks extra enjoyable. Younger kids can assist fill the trays.
- Delight children with particular water bottles or cups. Whether or not it’s a customized sports activities bottle or a flowery cup with an umbrella or swirly straw, including a festive contact could make a distinction.
- Make your personal ice popss with pureed fruit for a day cooldown. Make it a enjoyable household exercise by utilizing small paper cups and letting your children enhance them or discover ice pop molds in enjoyable shapes and colours.
Water and milk are all of the drinks children want, so don’t consider all of the hype surrounding lots of the different drinks marketed to children. These often include far more sugar than kids want in a day and may contribute to poor well being. Right here’s what to keep away from:
- Sugary drinks: Make a rule that no sugar-sweetened drinks are allowed for kids who’re youthful than 2. And attempt to restrict them to your older kids as a lot as potential. This contains sports activities drinks, juice cocktails, sodas, lemonade and sweetened water. These drinks discourage a behavior of ingesting plain water and may add additional empty energy to the weight loss program. They’ll additionally depart your children much less hungry for the nutritious meals they really want. Added sugars can result in extra weight achieve, cavities, diabetes and extra.
- Juice: Even 100% juice ought to be strictly restricted. Whereas it will probably include some nutritional vitamins, these drinks are excessive in sugar and energy and low within the wholesome fiber present in entire fruit. Due to its candy style, as soon as kids are provided juice, it may be troublesome to get them to drink plain water.
- Flavored milk: Though it has calcium and nutritional vitamins, flavored milk will be a lot increased in sugar. These added sugars ought to be prevented to discourage a desire for candy flavors, which might make it troublesome when providing common milk.
- Stevia or artificially sweetened drinks: As a result of well being dangers for kids from stevia and synthetic sweeteners are usually not nicely understood, it’s best to keep away from these drinks. As an alternative, make water available to encourage wholesome hydration.
Many mother and father ask how a lot liquid children want. At about 6 months, infants will be launched to water. They solely want about 4 to eight ounces per day till they’re a 12 months outdated as a result of the remainder of their liquids are coming from breast milk or formulation.
To remain nicely hydrated, kids ages 1-3 years want roughly 4 cups of drinks per day, together with water or milk. This will increase for older children to round 5 cups for these ages 4-8, and 7-8 cups for older kids. These quantities differ by particular person and should must be adjusted, relying on ranges of exercise and warmth and humidity outside.
Dr. Janine Rethy is Division Chief of Group Pediatrics at MedStar Georgetown College Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown College Faculty of Medication. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For extra data, go to HealthyChildren.org, the web site for fogeys from the AAP.