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Supermarkets are packed with all types of drinks. It’s up to you to choose which health drink is best for toddlers. With such a long list to pick from, knowing the good from the bad is vital. After all, many drink options look great but aren’t all that beneficial.
Reading through nutrition labels when choosing drinks for your toddlers is cumbersome. You’ll never be able to pay attention to facts when you have your little one tugging at your shirt. Here’s an easy way for you to distinguish good and bad drinks for toddlers. Choosing one won’t be difficult anymore.
The Best and Worst Drinks for Toddlers
1. The Healthy Stuff
Plain water is the best choice for a healthy drink. It helps hydrate and regulate body temperature. Your child can also be guarded against urinary tract infections and constipation. Water is a source of fluoride too, which is an important ingredient for healthy teeth.
- Whole milk
Your child could do with an extra dose of whole milk, which is a vitamin-rich drink for one-year-old children. It’s a source of vitamin D and calcium, in addition to containing protein and other nutrients. A daily intake of around 16 to 20 ounces of milk will ensure your toddler gets her requirement. If you’re thinking of introducing him to low-fat milk, wait till he touches the 2-year-old mark. Limit the milk to just two cups a day.
- Fresh juice
If your child wants to have juice, opt for the fresh stuff that serves as nutritional drinks for toddlers. Concentrated juice and other commercial products contain a high quantity of sugar and not much else. Fresh juice, on the other hand, has vitamins and minerals in addition to sugar. Limit your toddler’s intake of juice to 6 ounces daily.
While these drinks may not quench your child’s thirst throughout the day, they’re very healthy. A smoothie will give her her requirement of nutrients. Try preparing concoctions like milk with oranges and a mix of yogurt, bananas and strawberries.
2. The Unhealthy Stuff
You would never intentionally give your child drinks that are packed with sugar and calories. Aside from commercial fruit juices, soda is a big source of refined sugar and is an unhealthy drink for toddlers and older kids alike. It can cause tooth decay and obesity too. Leave such drinks on the shelf and opt for healthier choices instead.
- Caffeine-based drinks
Just as you wouldn’t dream of offering your toddler a double-shot of espresso, keep her away from other drinks that also contain caffeine, no matter how little. These include iced tea, energy drinks and vitamin water. Unlike an adult, toddlers are a lot more susceptible to the harmful effects of caffeine. It can also disrupt afternoon naps and cause tummy troubles, headaches and lack of concentration.
Choosing the best drinks for your toddler doesn’t have to be as hard as you imagine. Just remember to avoid giving sugary and caffeinated drinks, and stick to those rich in nutrients. When you maintain a balance between healthy drinks and those that every little toddler likes, you needn’t worry.