Experts issue a guideline on healthy drinks for kids to curb child obesity
A panel of scientists recently issued new guidelines on healthy drinks for kids. According to their findings, some of the things we consider safe for kids like juice actually leads to child obesity.
With the rise and rise of civilisation comes more and more information every time. What seemed okay just yesterday may suddenly be bad and what seemed bad may become good. You just have to take and digest information as it comes. A panel of scientists recently issued new guidelines on healthy drinks for kids.
The nutritional recommendations are most likely going to be influential, seeing as they were developed by leading agencies in their field. American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry came together to produce the guidelines. The research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
What should young children drink?
According to the panel, babies should receive breast milk or formula. But, at six months water may then be added to the diet. Also, for babies receiving formula, it can be changed to cow’s milk when they are 12 months old. In addition, children should take mostly milk and water for the first years of their lives.
However, any drink with sugar or sweeteners should not be given to any child below the age of five. Not even artificial sweetened beverages, chocolate or other flavoured milk, caffeinated and other toddler formulas. For parents who want an alternative to cow milk can go for soy milk. Any plant-based beverages like rice or oat milk should not be used.
This may shock parents who are fond of giving their kids juice. The panel also said that children should drink less than a cup of 100 per cent juice per day.
According to Dr Richard Besser, president and chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “When we talk about empty calories that are consumed through beverages and the number of calories people get from sugar-sweetened drinks, we’re not just talking about soda. The juice is another source of calories that nutritionally aren’t terrific.”
What Are The Healthy Drinks For Kids?
The panel provided recommendations according to the age groups of children for easier understanding.
From birth to six months
This age group should drink only breast milk or infant formula. You should not give them juice, milk, flavoured milk, or any weaning formulas including toddler milk, growing-up milk or follow-up formula. Also, do not give them non-dairy or plant-based milk, caffeinated beverages like soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
Six to twelve months
This age group should still take breast milk and formulas. Then can start taken some water when they start eating solid food. Avoid juice or flavoured milk.
Twelve to twenty-four months
For this age bracket, they should drink one to four cups of water each day. Also, you can start giving them plain pasteurized whole milk. In a day, they should not exceed four ounces of 100 per cent fruit juice.
Two to three years old
This bracket should drink one to four cups of water daily. Plus transition to fat-free milk. Give them no more than four ounces of 100 per cent fruit juice. They should not be given any other drink.
Three to five
1.5 to five cups of water a day is recommended for the age bracket and not exceeding six ounces of 100 per cent fruit juice. Give them no other drinks.
However, if your child is already used to juice it may take some time to wean him or her off of it. Furthermore, you may have noticed with all the age groups, you can practically do no wrong with just water.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com