This is a sponsored post. I was compensated to write about the new beverage guidelines by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but all the opinions are my own.
When my oldest was about one, someone tried to offer her a sip of cola and I almost slapped the drink out of the person’s hand before quickly gathering myself and politely saying, “She’s too young for soda”. Sure, the person offering it too my daughter looked at me strangely but I didn’t care–my baby, my rules. But it also occurred to me that not all people know the importance of creating these healthy habits with our children early on matters. It’s not just getting them to eat more vegetables–it’s also making sure that they are fueling their bodies with drinks that are healthy for them.
Healthy Drink Guidelines For Kids
These are the general guidelines for children. As with anything, consult your doctor to make sure that this is in line with what is healthy for their bodies.
0-6 months: Breastmilk or Formula
**If you are not producing enough breastmilk, do not add water to your breastmilk if bottle feeding. Use formula while working to build your own supply–there is no shame in making sure your baby is fed.**
6-12 months: Breastmilk/Formula with the addition of small amounts of water. You don’t want to give too much water because they may become full from it and not want more nutritionally dense breastmilk/formula.
12-24 months: Whole milk and 4oz of 100% juice at most. But small pieces of real fruit are even better.
2-5 years: Skim or 1% milk with a maximum of 6oz of 100% juice daily as they reach 5–ages 2-4 is still 4oz.
Why The Healthy Drink Guidelines Now?
Despite the importance of making sure that our children are consuming healthy drinks, there is a rise of sugary drinks being introduced and consumed by children earlier and earlier. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies later in life. This is such grave concern that this is the first time that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association have made consistent recommendations for beverage consumption for children ages 0-5.
Research shows that establishing healthy habits from ages 0-5 has a huge impact on children’s healthy now as well as in the future. Having too many sugary drinks early on has been linked with cavities, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The nation’s leading health organizations agree that for most kids, the above recommendations can help to set children on a path for healthy growth and development. Please make sure to consult with your health care provider about your child’s individual needs (specific diets, allergies, intolerances, etc).
Tips & Tricks To Getting Your Kids To Drink What They Need
- Get a cute water bottle and make sure to fill it up multiple times.
- Find a 100% juice brand that you love and trust and if you are going give them juice do it only at snack time in an open cup
- Breastfeed for as long as comfortable for you.
- If you can’t breastfeed, supplement with a high-quality formula.
- While smoothies are really delicious, they can be high in sugar unless vegetable-based so keep that in mind.
What are your thoughts on the healthy drink guidelines? Is this something you knew already or is this new for you?
I’ve been compensated by Healthy Eating Research, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to write about the new beverage recommendations. Even though this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.
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