Best Beverages for Kids
While many wellness-conscious parents focus on promoting healthy foods to kids, how about drinks? Some experts feel that American kids have a “drinking problem” when it comes to sweetened beverages, which may factor into growing rates of childhood obesity.
Many children over consume sugary drinks, from sweetened “fruit” beverages and teas, to “energy drinks,” and even coffee drinks─despite the fact that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, artificially stimulating beverages are never appropriate for children or adolescents. Here are a few easy ways to help reverse this trend:
Make water the “go-to”
Given that the majority of the human body is comprised of water, this essential fluid is arguably the best option for quenching thirst. Make it easy for kids to choose water first by supplying them with their own BPA-free water bottle to take to school, as a side-kick during sports and games, and anytime the family is on the go. Set the example by making water your best friend too!
Increase healthy drink options
When kids are thirsty, they’ll typically grab what’s available, so it’s best to limit sugary choices, especially those with caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and/or colors, or other chemicals. Water, fresh juices, and caffeine-free iced teas are healthy and refreshing. Another winner is sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh citrus for some zing.
Give juice a makeover
While juices have nutritional value, they can also be high in sugar without the fiber you get by eating whole fruit. You can, however, cut sugar and calories by diluting juices with fresh or sparkling water. Work up to 50% juice, 50% water. Also, check out the R.W. Knudsen Family® brand Just Juice line of single-fruit, unsweetened, 100% juices.
Opt for organic milk
When it comes to milk, consider going organic─especially where kids are concerned. Companies like Organic Valley work hard to provide fresh, organic milk from healthy, grass-fed cows. Organic milk delivers the protein and nutrients your family needs, without the antibiotics, pesticides, and synthetic hormones found in many conventional milk brands.
By ensuring that kids have an ongoing supply of healthy fluids─especially during busy, active times─you can simultaneously boost their wellness and minimize their risk of accumulating excess pounds from empty calories. Cheers!