Children follow in the footsteps of their adults. They grow up believing everything they are taught. Healthy lifestyles and eating and drinking habits should be inculcated in kids from an early age. Good habits like maintaining hygiene, keeping fit and active, and healthy drinking and eating work in contributing significantly to the overall growth, development, and well-being of children. Having set schedules to eat, drink, play, study, and so on help children grow up to be well-balanced adults with a good sense of responsibility.
Children can face many difficulties while growing up due to irregular food and drink consumption habits. It is necessary to keep a close watch on the drinks that are being provided to children (along with food) to ensure children do not fall prey to allergies, obesity, food disorders, flu, and viral cold and coughs. Nutritious drinking habits play an essential role in the health and wellbeing of young children.
Let us look at the benefits of healthy drinking for children.
Milk is a rich source of vitamin D that is necessary for the growth of bones, teeth, and hair. Calcium-rich milk-based drinks are excellent for muscle and fiber growth in children. Milk proteins are made up of leucine that aids in developing muscle and bone strength. Calcium helps prevent obesity in children and also assists in reducing unwanted fats from the body. Milk and milk products help in keeping headaches and migraines away that many kids experience in the case of a calcium deficiency.
Vitamin D present in milk helps in controlling inflammation and keeping the immune system healthy. Deficiency of vitamin D may lead to osteoporosis later in life. By drinking milk daily, children are setting the foundations of a healthy future. Milk also helps settle anxious stomachs, prevents acidity, lowers blood pressure, promotes heart health, and aids in the growth of healthy teeth.
Known as the lifeblood of all living things, water is essential to the human body. Since our bodies are made up of almost 65 – 70% water, drinking it helps in the control of overheating and dehydration in the hot summers. Water helps in battling overexposure to the sun and also helps control sunburn and prickly heat. Children should drink 2 liters of water daily to keep their body temperatures, sweat glands, and weight in moderation. Kids who are more active than others should consume more water than others. Same is the case for children who play outdoors more than indoors. Remaining hydrated throughout the day is essential for young children.
Many children do not like the taste of water. If this is the case, you could sweeten the water with a few slices of orange, strawberry, or a little lime juice. Drinking water helps battle acidity, settles the stomach, aids in digestion and absorption of food, and in flushing out harmful toxins and chemicals from the body. Toxins in the body are detrimental to the growth of healthy organs and reduce the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. By drinking water, children will be able to flush out unhealthy toxins from the body naturally.
Most children enjoy drinking juices in comparison to milk or water. The sugary sweetness that comes naturally in fruits is more appealing than plain milk or water. While fruit juices are excellent alternatives for junk foods and carbonated drinks, you must ensure that the kids are only getting juice that is without any preservatives. Additives and flavoring can cause more harm than good to the bodies of young children and may even stunt their growth.
Better than drinking juice is to eat the fruit directly. If possible, try to habituate your children into eating the fruits instead of juicing them. Fruits consumed directly can be absorbed with nutrients and fibers straight into the body for a more significant benefit. However, if this is not possible, avoid using store-bought juice. Invest in a good juicer and make fruit juice at home. Children should not drink more than 150 ml of juice in the day. This way, you can control their intake of juice as well as avoid any harmful preservatives, additives, and chemicals from entering their diets.
While children should be allowed to act their age and play with friends, it is necessary to curtail their intake of fizzy drinks, soda, and pop. One glass of soda a month should be permitted to avoid any after effects on their system. Sugar drinks are useful in case of drowsiness, fainting, or any other blood sugar related events.