There is a lot of emphasis about healthy food choices for your bubs, but what about healthy drink choices?
Children’s drink choices can affect their overall health. During the summer heat in Australia, children can become easily dehydrated, so keeping up with their fluid is very important. However, what your kids drink can drastically affect the amount of calories consumed. By making healthy drink options, you’ll be helping your child have a better overall diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents state that ‘a child’s fluid needs are best met by water and milk’.
Offering drinks such as sugary soft drinks, fruit drinks or cordials can be referred to as ’empty’ calories, that is drinks they are a high in calories but provide little nutritional value and also cause tooth decay (not so good for the dental bills!).
The best type of Mocktail
Very easy…two simple ingredients that are easily accessible. All you need is a tap with running water and a cow with a good supply of milk (not really..just pre-made cows milk!).
One of the most essential nutrients for life, needed for bodily processes. Plain water should be the fluid of choice, the human body is constantly expelling water from lungs and skin. Additionally, free calories and no cost…let it flow freely.
Milk also contains high amounts of water to aid with hydration, but also is nutrient dense in relation to amount of calories. It contains essential nutrients, not only the main contributor to calcium but also protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin A, B12, riboflavin and phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
What about flavoured milk? Also contains the essential nutrients, however it contains added sugar, offer plain cows milk as the main source of milk to your child.
The not so great Mocktail
The ingredients found in fruit drinks, fizzy drinks and other sweetened drinks tend to be highly processed and contain a wide range of different preservatives and additives such as sugar, food acids, sweeteners, citric acid, sulfer dioxde and the list is endless.
You do not need to always say no, as juice does provide nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and antioxidants, but less than milk. Just keep in mind, fruit juice contains natural sugar which is calories similar to soft drink, and usually all the goodness of the fibre is usually removed which is the good stuff and contribute to poor dental health. Instead of offering fruit juice it is better to encourage whole fruits and vegetables.
Fizzy drinks and other sweetened drinks such as cordials, fruit poppers provide high amounts of calories but lack in nutrients. If kids have lots of sweetened drinks it can compromise their diets, as they become full and unable to eat foods with high nutritional value. Also, they can end up with a unbalanced diet and increase risk of dental caries and obesity.
I will leave you with one simple thought…
LESS IS BEST FOR YOUR BUB’S MOCKTAIL