Just Say “No” to Sugary Drinks
When our children are small, we love introducing them to new foods and experiences, but adding high sugar drinks to their daily diets should not be one of them. High-calorie, sugary drinks are often the culprit of many health issues including obesity, tooth decay, overall poor diets and health problems.
What should they drink then?
Babies who are six months and younger need nothing more to drink than breast milk or a quality instant formula, and never should they have juice or soda. Most pediatricians recommend you introduce a full fat cow’s milk when children turn one-year-old, but it should not be flavored. Plain water and low-fat or non-fat milk are the best drinks for children older than two.
Fruit juice, as long as it 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugar, are okay sometimes for children older than six months. However, it should be limited to only four to six ounces per day and only served from a cup, not a bottle.
Info to help you say “NO” to sugary drinks:
- Each additional sugary drink a child consumes per day adds 60 percent to his risk of being obese.
- More than 18 percent of children in the U.S. are considered obese.
- Other studies have shown that children who consume sugary beverages are associated with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.
- More than 40 percent of children have cavities before they reach kindergarten, with sugary drinks and poor dental health as the main contributors.
- Children who substitute more nutritious drinks like milk and water for juice or sports drinks may not receive enough essential nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin A.
- Consumers are often confused by labels such as “natural” or “organic” and think it is healthier even with the added sugars. Not true.
- Pay attention to the amount of servings in a container. For instance, flavored milks (strawberry, chocolate, etc.) are served in 16-ounce containers, as is juice and other drinks, which is actually two servings.
- If you let your child drink fruit juice, be sure it says 100 percent natural and no added sugars on the packaging.
- Consider watering down fruit juice when you serve it.
- Avoid any drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
- If you allow your child to drink a sugary drink, be sure to brush their teeth before bedtime.
- Avoid giving your child sports drinks, energy drinks, Vitamin waters, fruit punch and etc.