Childhood nutrition is becoming an increasingly important issue. According to Healthy Children, almost 1 out of every 3 children in the United States is obese. While obesity levels may indicate a problem with eating habits, overall nutrition is a factor. MedlinePlus reports that a healthy diet helps to reduce obesity levels. As part of a child’s overall nutritional diet, drinks are a factor, and nutritional drinks should be considered as a factor in overall dietary intake.
According to KidsHealth, milk and water are the best two choices for a nutritional drink for children. There are 300 mg calcium in 1 cup of milk. Therefore, milk can contribute significantly to a child’s nutritional needs. Children who are 1 and 2 years old require 500 mg calcium daily, while children who are 4 to 8 years old require 800 mg calcium each day. Older children, those who are 9 to 18 years old, require 1,300 mg calcium daily.
Water has no calories and can be a factor in reducing obesity levels. Helping children learn to appreciate drinking water can teach them to enjoy a drink that quenches thirst and is free of sugar. Water also can help children meet the daily fluid intake requirements without contributing to caloric intake. Children who are athletes have a higher daily fluid intake requirement, and water can help meet that requirement.
Pure Juice Drinks
Some children have a taste for juice drinks. There is a healthy aspect of juice drinks in that they are a source of vitamin C, a dietary requirement. If a child wants juice, the drinks that are 100 percent fruit juice are a healthier choice than juice drinks that are not 100 percent juice. KidsHealth suggests that no juice be fed to a child before the age of 6 months. For children who are 6 to 12 months old, 2 to 4 oz. daily in a cup is suggested as a limit. Four to 6 oz. daily as a limit is suggested for children who are 1 to 6 years old. For older children, those who are 7 to 18 years old, 8 to 12 oz. daily is the suggested limit.