Did you notice that most children have a sweet tooth? Therefor they are prone to ask for a sugary beverage when they are thirsty. We all know that getting your child to eat healthy nutritious food can be a challenge, but did you know that healthy beverages can be just as challenging?
As a parent, it is important that you guide them towards healthy options.
Here are 4 healthy drinks for kids:
Water is the best! When your child is thirsty you should always offer water first. Water is critical for health because it is necessary for countless vital processes in the body for example temperature regulation and organ function.
Did you know that in relation to their body weight, children have greater water requirements than adults? The reason for this is their higher metabolic rate and rapidly growing body.
One major benefit of water is that it doesn’t provide liquid calories. Unlike many other beverages it will not increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight. Drinking water is also linked to a reduced risk of dental cavities, a healthy weight and improved brain function.
2. Naturally flavored water
Some children dislikes water because it seems boring to them. Why not make it fun by infusing it with fresh fruit to give it flavour? With this method you can make water more exciting without adding any extra sugar and calories. There are many flavour combinations that you can try out until you find the perfect mix that your child enjoys.
Try out some of these combinations and let us know which one your child prefers!
- Watermelon and Cucumber
- Frozen Strawberries (Optional to add lemon)
- Pineapple and mint
- Blueberries and Raspberries
3. Certain Smoothies
Are you struggling with a child that doesn’t want to eat fruit and vegetables? Smoothies are the perfect way to sneak fruit and veggies into your child’s diet without them even noticing.
The reason we say “certain” smoothies, is because not all smoothies are good. Some smoothies that are being sold at restaurants or grocery stores are very high in sugar and should not be mistaken for a healthy option. Rather make the smoothie yourself! By giving them a homemade smoothie, you are in control of all the ingredients to ensure that it is nutritious.
Here are a few examples of kid-friendly smoothies that you can try:
- Spinach, milk, a few drops of vanilla essence and frozen blueberries
- Mango, frozen pieces of banana and milk.
- Strawberries, plain yoghurt and beets
4. Unsweetened Milk
Plain milk provides a lot of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for growth and development. Milk is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It also contains phosphorous and magnesium which is essential nutrients for bone health. Parmalat’s milk is fortified with Vitamin D which is also important for bone health.
Be careful and do not give low fat milk to your child before discussing it with a Dietitian. Fat is necessary for proper brain development and overall growth during childhood. The fat requirements for children are higher than for adults due to increased metabolic rate. Therefor milk with a higher fat content might be healthier for younger children.
Even though milk is a nutritious choice, some children are intolerant to dairy milk. If you think this might be the case with your child, look for signs of diarrhoea, bloating, skin rashes, cramps and gas. If you suspect an intolerance, then rather speak to your paediatrician before giving any milk products.
As a parent, it is important that you help your child to make healthy choices. This doesn’t mean that children can never enjoy a sweetened beverage. Just remember, moderation is the key to a healthy, happy life!