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Choosing healthy beverages for children

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According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic (AND), the types and amounts of beverages that children drink have changed drastically over the past 50 years. The intake of milk is down and the intake of fruit juices and soda has increased.

AND noted that the change to a higher intake of sugary beverage has caused not only an increase in calorie intake but children, who have an excess intake of sugary beverages, have a decreased intake of fruits and vegetables, as well. The rise in intake of sugary beverages has also lead to increase of dental caries (tooth decay).

Improving you child's healthy can be as simple as changing what you pour into their cup. By following this beverage recommendations you can help your child avoid excessive intake of sugar and empty calories, while promote the intake of nutrient dense drinks and adequate hydration

Beverage Recommendations

  • Water should be the first beverage of choice when your child it thirsty.
    • Sippy cups and reusable bottles should only filled with water
    • Avoid flavored water as they too have added sugar
  • Milk or milk substitute, such as soy milk, are nutrient dense and provide important vitamins and minerals.
    • Serve milk at meals time or with snacks
    • Choose fat-free or low fat milk and milk products
    • Children 2 to 3 years old needs 2 cup per day, children 4-8 need 2 ½ ups per day and older children and teens need 3 cups per day.
  • When giving fruit Juice choose 100% fruit juice
    • In most instances it recommended to give fresh or frozen fruit instead of juice
    • Children 2 to 3 year of age should not have more than ½ to ¾ cups (4-6 ounces) of fruit juice a day. Older children should not have more than 1 cup (8 ounce) of fruit juice a day
  • Sugar added beverages should be limited
    • It is ok to occasionally enjoy a favorite sugary beverage but it should be drunk in moderation and not used to quench thirst.

By choosing healthy beverage the whole family can have live a healthy well hydrated life.

References:

  1. Beth N. Ogata, and Dayle Hayes. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11 Years Position Statement, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2014-08-01, Volume 114, Issue 8, Pages 1257-1276
  2. MyPlate kids place
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