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Sep 24, 2019 / Richard Hall

Best beverages for kids

Some positive guidance on what young children should drink …

It’s come from a combination of distinguished US institutions:

• Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

• American Academy of Pediatrics

• American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

• American Heart Association.

Children under 6 months should only consume breast milk, if possible.

From 6 to 12 months, they should start drinking water at meals.

From 12 months to 2 years, whole dairy milk should be added and a small amount of fruit juice is permissible, though fruit would be preferable.

From 2 to 5 years, dairy milk consumption should be low fat.

This makes so much sense.

• It recognises the need for good hydration and that “water is essential for life”.

• It values dairy milk, even to the extent of advising against substituting dairy-free drinks, except fortified soy milk, because they “lack key nutrients found in cows’ milk” and “our bodies cannot absorb nutrients in these non-dairy milks as well as they can from regular milk”.

• It supports the benefits of fruit juice within limits.

There are negatives. No flavoured milk, sugar sweetened beverages, low calorie sweetened beverages or caffeinated beverages.

As with all guidelines, success will also require a balance of judgement.

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