It seems mornings have become busier and busier in many of our homes, making the morning rush an even bigger rush then many years ago. When it comes to packing our children’s school lunches, it becomes the staple of our daily routine and an important task every single day. It seems the liquids that are packed in with all the healthy foods are much more neglected compared to the actual items are children are eating. The beverage choices are endless, and finding that perfect drink to incorporate into your child’s lunch seems to be daunting.
MommyMatter thought it was time we helped you make a healthy decision on the drink options you are providing to your children, especially with the hundreds of drink products lining the shelves of our grocery stores now a days.
The Overwhelming Blinders
It seems the main drink of choice of many children is the sugar filled and generally unhealthy high sugar drinks. These drinks are usually the most easily accessed as they are everywhere, making it hard to even attempt keeping your child unaware of their existence. Children are always most likely to grab the handiest drinks, like juice boxes, and these items are not always the healthiest option for your children.
Sports drinks have also become a huge phenomenon over the past five years. They provide minimal benefits for your children and are not properly formulated for the health needs of growing children.
Sugary drinks have become overwhelming with their presence everywhere, and become a major blinder to the healthy choices that are actually out there. With all the unhealthy drinks constantly being promoted on television, billboards, the Internet and any other means of promoting the companies can think of, it is becoming hard as parents to fend off these sugary produces. Educating ourselves and our children on the healthy alternatives is an important thing and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is doing everything they can to help.
The AAP recommends that parents limit the amount of soda and sugary drinks consumed daily, and substitute for healthier drink options, as well as eating at least one fruit and vegetable daily.
Healthy Beverage Options for Kids
Thankfully, there are a lot of healthy alternatives to the unwanted high sugar, unhealthy drinks out there. You’ll be amazed at the simple, yet oh so healthy drink options available that will not only be great for your children, but for the entire family! Check out our top five healthy drinks for kids now!
Yep, you read that right. Water is one of the best, healthiest and in every drink you ever consume. Sadly, when you combine water with all the unnecessary ingredients you find in all those unhealthy drinks, it loses its health value. Water all on its own is one of the best things you can provide to your family, hands down. Water not only can replenish your child’s fluids, but it doesn’t contain those empty calories, sugars or fats that do not benefit our health. It is also one of the most available drinks out there.
Water is also something you can easily spice up to make it more then just water. We all know many children fuss when it comes to just drinking plain old water. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime into your water to add some flavor. If your child likes mint, add some fresh mint leaves and make your water minty, without the unneeded sugars.
Orange juice is also another great drink choice, but not processed orange juice. Fresh squeezed orange juice is one of the best options next to water as a good drink option for your family. Oranges are jam packed full of vitamin C, minerals and nutrients, and a great alternative to soda.
Some of the best oranges for making fresh squeezed orange juice are navel oranges, valencia oranges and murcia oranges.
This one is of course a no-brainer. Milk offers many of the essential health benefits for our families. It builds and maintains our body bone mass, it helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and is something our bones rely on. Throughout childhood it is very important to consume milk regularly, as these are our years of development. Milk is loaded with nutrients and vitamins that help improve our overall health. If you have a child who doesn’t like plain old milk, add in some flavors by adding in fruit, vanilla and a few ice cubes, to make it a delicious and healthy smoothy!
Who knew yogurt was a beverage! Well, it is. When you incorporate yogurt into your drinks you are providing your child with many nutritional benefits, while giving them a drink that is similar to the texture of a milk shake. Yogurt drinks are jam packed full of protein, calcium and help boost our immune systems. Yogurt lets you get a little more creative with drinks, adding in a wide variety of fruits and just about anything imaginable. If your child is fussy with their beverages, switch it up and give them a sweet, yet healthy yogurt drink. It is like ice cream, minus the unnecessary sugars.
Calcium-fortified and lightly flavored soy beverages offer all the health benefits of milk, including a nice dose of protein. Soy carries with it some important health effects like reducing levels of “bad” cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Dozens of health studies suggest that a diet rich in soy and soy protein can reduce your risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers across the lifespan. Soy beverages come in a variety of flavors and textures, making them a great alternative to high sugar or energy drinks so popular today with the younger set.