A 4 to 5-year old kid can drink an average of 17 teaspoons of added sugar every day, which is approximately 65 pounds of added sugar every year. The added sugar intake of a kid normally comes from candies, high-fat content desserts, and beverages loaded with sugar such as soft drinks and fruit drinks, Not only these drinks contribute to poor nutrition and increase the risk for obesity, they are also culprits to maintaining good oral health, according to Vancouver Pediatric Dentists.
What Should Kids Drink?
- Water and milk are the best choices.
Aside from having zero calorie content, water is great thirst-quencher that has no sugar. A single cup of milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium, thus considered to be a good provider for the daily needs of a child.
For milk, make sure to go for fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk. Dietary guidelines of 2015 for milk or other dairy products or fortified soy drinks for kids are as follows:
- Ages two to three should drink two cups (480 milliliters) every day.
- Ages four to eight should have two and a half cups (600 milliliters) per day.
- Ages nine and older should have three cups (720 milliliters) per day.
- Avoid soda.
Nowadays, a lot of children do not drink water – they instead drink sweetened soft drinks, which is alarming. Convincing ads that show sodas and sports drinks are essential for keeping our kids hydrated and satisfied are all over the TV and internet. Sadly, these ads aren’t true. The selling of soft drinks to children is one big industry. According to Beverage-Digest, in 2011, in the US alone, the sale of soda was over and above $74.2 billion dollars. No doubt that our children are barraged with ads for these drinks.
- Soda: overflowing with sugar and other additives – must be avoided
- Energy drinks: overflowing with sugar and has high caffeine content – must be avoided
- Sports drinks: overflowing with excessive sugar – over-hyped and must be avoided
- Diet drinks: triggers the development of your child’s sweet tooth, which has been associated with obesity – must be avoided
- Sports drinks are not for everyone.
Sports drinks are intended for kids who are involved in hours of strenuous activities. These drinks have electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, which are excreted by the body through sweat. Electrolytes are vital to maintaining the balance of fluid levels of the body and for the muscles to work appropriately. But, sports drinks are not required for casual sport enthusiasts and must not be taken regularly.
A friendly reminder from Smiletown Dentistry Vancouver, next time your child reaches for a drink, refrain them from drinking beverages with excessive sugar content. Just bear in mind that you are responsible for what your child drinks – so if you do not buy them, they will not drink it.