Keeping the children hydrated is important, especially as the months start heating up. Children and infants are at great risk of dehydration for a number of reasons, including conditions such as diabetes and heatstroke. Symptoms to look out for include dry mouth and lips, sunken eyes, irritability, and cold or blotchy hands and feet.
But what is safe to give them? You want to avoid anything with too much sugar or e numbers but pick something equally tasty and refreshing. Here are some of the best drinks you can give your children:
The healthiest drink for children is water because it’s free from any added sugar so when your little one is thirsty, you should offer water first. Water is critical to healthy bodily function and vital processes such as temperature regulation. It is recommended that children aged four to 13 should aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Young children will need smaller servings.
If your kid is fussy when it comes to drinking water, watching parents or other children drink water can encourage them to do so themselves.
2. Herbal teas
Though you might think tea may not be a good choice because of the caffeine, herbal ones like chai tea are great options for children over two and above. Fruit and herbal teas have many benefits for cognitive development, metabolic and gut health, and the immune system.
If a child struggles with ADHD or is an early riser, matcha tea is a good way to help them relax, but only for children 12 and above. There’s plenty of benefits across all the teas available but make sure to do your research as caffeine can be present.
Drinking sugar-free tea is also thought to reduce obesity and help prevent conditions such as kidney disease, digestive problems, nerve damage, and sleep apnea.
3. Low-fat milk
Low-fat or semi-skimmed milk is another good alternative as it contains all the essential vitamins that growing children need. High levels of calcium can be found in milk which is one of the key minerals that kids need to encourage bone growth. This helps prevent fractures and breakages in the future.
For the smallest little ones, milk is often a big part of the bedtime routine. If your child is regularly drinking milk, you can avoid chemicals and enjoy better nutritional content with fresh, organic milk.
4. Flavored waters
If your kids are looking for a treat outside of water and milk, flavored water is an ideal substitute for fizzy drinks. Carbonated drinks are highly acidic and are a leading cause of acid erosion in baby teeth. You can opt for water that has been infused with real fruit so there are no added sugar, calories, or sweeteners.
What is the healthiest drink for children?
The healthiest drinks for children include water and milk. Water helps to keep them hydrated without adding any unnecessary sugars or calories, while milk provides important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
Are fruit juices good for children?
While fruit juices do contain some vitamins, they’re also high in sugar. It’s better to offer whole fruits instead of juice to get the full range of nutrients and fiber.
Is it okay for children to drink tea or coffee?
Tea and coffee contain caffeine, which isn’t recommended for children. They can also interfere with the absorption of iron and other nutrients.
How much water should a child drink each day?
The amount of water a child needs can vary depending on their age, sex, weight, and activity level. Generally, it’s suggested that children drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day.
What type of milk is best for children?
Whole milk is usually recommended for children up until the age of 2, as they need the extra fat for brain development. After this age, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk can be introduced, provided the child is eating a balanced diet.
Are sports and energy drinks safe for children?
Sports and energy drinks are not recommended for children. They are high in sugar and may contain ingredients that aren’t suitable for children, such as caffeine.
Can my child drink almond milk or other plant-based milk?
While almond milk and other plant-based milk can be part of a healthy diet for children, they should not replace cow’s milk entirely (unless there is an allergy or intolerance) as they don’t offer the same nutritional benefits.
How can I encourage my child to drink more water?
There are plenty of ways to make water more appealing to children. Try adding a slice of fruit like lemon or orange for flavor, or use fun, colorful cups and straws.