Early childhood is an important time to start developing healthy eating habits. Studies have shown that children's drinks from birth to 5 years of age have a great impact on their health now and in the years to come. Children learn to enjoy their favorite flavors when they are 9 months old. These preferences can last until childhood and even adulthood.
The American Heart Association (AHA), in conjunction with the American Nutrition Society, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends breast milk, infant formula, water, and pure milk, and recommends a range of beverages based on age (from birth to age 5).
They warned that drinks are a source of added sugar in the diet of young children, including flavored milk (such as chocolate, strawberries), sugary drinks and low-calorie sweet drinks. In addition, there are many drinks for children on the market. Formula, caffeinated beverages and vegetal/non-dairy drinks (such as almonds, rice, oats) have no unique nutritional value.
Although each child is different, the experts make the following recommendations for most children:
(1) Children aged 5 years and younger should avoid drinking flavored milk, infant formula, botanical/non-dairy drinks, caffeinated beverages, sugary and low-calorie sweet drinks, as these beverages may be added to the diet of young children. The main source and no unique nutritional value.
(2) Infants aged 0-6 months need only breast milk or infant formula to get enough liquid and proper nutrition.
(3) 6-12 months: In addition to breast milk or infant formula, add complementary food, at this time should give the baby a small amount of drinking water to help the baby familiar with the taste, just drink a few mouthfuls when eating. It is best not to drink juice for children under 1 year old.
(4) 12-24 months: It is time to add whole milk, which contains many essential nutrients and adds ordinary drinking water. A small amount of juice is OK, but make sure it is 100% juice and avoid adding sugar. Even better, eat a small piece of real fruit, which is healthier.
(5) 2-5 years old: milk and water are the main drinks. Look for milk with lower fat content than whole milk, such as skim (non-fat) or low fat (1%). If you choose 100% juice, it is also necessary to have a small amount.