Healthy Beverages



Estimated Reading Time 3 Minutes
Healthy beverages

Drinking
fluids is a part of a healthy daily routine. The challenge presented to
us as parents is to keep our kids hydrated but avoid the pitfalls of
sugary, nutrient-void beverages that end up doing more harm than good.
Kids who fill up on sugary drinks tend to get too many liquid calories,
(almost all from sugar). It is far better for kids to get balanced
nutrition from healthy foods that provide good fats, good proteins and
good grains and to quench their thirst with healthy beverages.

Read below to assess the types of beverages your kids are chugging.
    
                                                                       
                                                              

BEVERAGE
(per 250 mL)
NUTRITIONAL VALUE PROS CONS OF NOTE
WATER Calories 0
Fat 0
Sodium 0
Fibre 0
Sugar 0
Protein 0
Helps kids think, sleep and grow.
Eliminates constipation.
Hydration
is one of the keys to staying healthy. The majority of the 4-8 cups of
fluid your child needs each day should be water.
None To
calculate your child’s water needs divide their weight in half. That is
the number of ounces required each day to keep them healthy. For
example, 80 pounds divided by 2 = 40 ounces or about five cups of water.
Float sliced oranges or lemons in water for added taste.
MILK (2%) Calories 130
Fat 5g
Sodium 125mg
Fibre 0
Sugar 12g
Protein 8g
Contains nutrients kids need such as vitamins A, D, C, calcium and iron.
Also contains protein, a bonus for ppicky eaters who need to increase protein intake.
Can cause digestion issues in those who have dairy sensitivities.
Has significant calories and fat, which are better eaten than drank in order to also increase fibre.
Chocolate milk is often preferred by kids but it has more than DOUBLE the sugar at 26g.
Skim
milk has no fat but can be a concern because without the fat, the sugar
can boost a child’s blood sugar quickly, especially if added to cereal.
100% JUICE
(not from concentrate)
Calories 110
Fat 0
Sodium 11mg
Fibre 0-2g
Sugar 22g
Protein 0
Less processed than juice from concentrate.
Can have more fibre which slows blood sugar absorption.
Typically lower in sodium.
Contains nutrients such as folic acid, potassium and vitamin C.
Although
the sugars in 100% juice are all natural, they are still sugars. Too
much juice all at once or throughout a day can result in too much sugar!
Often contains no preservatives (which is GREAT) but careful handling and appropriate refrigeration is a must.
100% JUICE

(from concentrate)
Calories 110
Fat 0
Sodium 15mg
Fibre 0
Sugar 24g
Protein 0
Contains nutrients such as vitamins A, D and C, as well as potassium and folic acid. Sodium levels are higher than juice not from concentrate.
No fibre.
Often to blame for high-sugar, high-calorie diets.
Often
claim “two servings of fruits per serving” but it is ALWAYS better for
kids to eat the whole fruit instead of drinking juice.
FRUIT DRINKS Calories 90
Fat 0
Sodium 170
Fibre 0
Sugar 20
Protein 0
Some fruit drinks are fortified with nutrients or contain small amounts of real juice.
Almost
all of the sugar in fruit drinks is added sugar and the RDA is only 20
grams of added sugar per day for children under 12 years.
Children
whose diets are too high in processed sugar are at risk for tooth
decay, weak immune systems, and are often overweight but malnourished.
SPORTS DRINKS
Calories 50
Fat 0
Sodium 110mg
Sugar 14g
Fibre 0
Protein 8g
Formulated
to assist with recovery from or participation in a rigorous activity
where a child is sweating for a minimum of 60 minutes and requires
sodium replacement.
Added
sugar is often in a very readily available form to provide fast
absorption and uptake when a body is under heavy exertion. This can
spike a child’s blood sugar quuickly.
Sodium levels are high because of the intended purpose, therefore not recommended to be consumed at times of rest.
Often purchased in containers bigger than 250 mL and therefore the calorie, sugar and sodium levels are even higher.
If
giving your child a sports drink during or after a hard exertion,
consider diluting it with water and reducing the overall serving size.
SODA POP Calories 140
Fat 0
Sodium 45
Fibre 0
Sugar 39
Protein 0
None High in added sugar, (one can exceeds the Recommended Daily Allowance).
May contain caffeine or other chemicals.
Carbonation contributes to gas!
Although diet soda has few or even no calories, it is not considered any healthier as it has no nutritional value.


* WARNING: Energy drinks are not approved for use by children.

Published in November 2010.

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