Plain water is the best drink for all children. It is sugar-free, promotes joint, bone, and tooth health and development promotes good blood circulation, and helps children maintain an adequate weight into adulthood. However, some children struggle to drink the right amount of water, because they are used to quenching their thirst with fruit juices, iced teas, or other sugary soft drinks.
Too many of these drinks predispose children to serious diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and parents must control how much and what their children drink to ensure their proper growth.
How Much Water For The Children?
The daily amount of water a child needs depends on their age, weight, and gender. Consider that a common glass contains about 200 milliliters of water.
- Usually, children aged 1 to 3 need 1200 milliliters of water per day.
- Children aged 4 to 6 need 1600 milliliters a day.
- In adolescence, males aged 15 to 17 need 2.5 liters of water a day, while female adolescents need 2000 milliliters, i.e. 2 liters.
These recommendations are for total water, which includes water from all sources: drinking water, other beverages (like milk, chamomile tea, etc.), and food, especially fruits and vegetables!
How To Understand If Your Child Is Drinking Enough
The color of the urine should be checked. If it appears a pale yellow or straw yellow, it means your baby is well hydrated.
What Is The Best Water For Babies?
To orient yourself in the choice of water, you need to check the fixed residue on the label. For children who drink tap water, the easiest thing to do is visit the website of the water provider. There will certainly be indicated the value of the fixed residue. Once we know what fixed residue the water in question has, we can also figure out which one is best for children.
- Minimally mineralized water has a fixed residue of less than 50 mg/L, which makes it particularly suitable for the preparation of formulated milk.
- Oligomineral or slightly mineralized water has a fixed residue of less than 500 mg/L, this water is recommended for children suffering from hypertension because it contains little sodium.
- Medium-mineral water is the best because it has a fixed residue between 500 and 1000 mg/L and is suitable for all children. It is the one that usually comes out of the tap.
- The water rich in mineral salts has a fixed residue higher than 1,000 mg/L, it is a therapeutic water and, as the name suggests, very rich in mineral salts. I recommend asking your pediatrician before giving this water to children as they may experience an overdose of salts.
What Drinks Are Recommended For Children?
After one year of age, it is good for children to drink whole, fresh, and pasteurized cow’s milk. If there is a family history of obesity or heart disease, reduced fat (2%) or low fat (1%) milk may be considered in place of whole milk, however, your pediatrician will recommend it.
Milk is rich in developmental nutrients, such as:
- High biological value proteins
- Vitamin D
- Highly assimilable calcium, which is essential for the development of bones and teeth.
Grana Padano DOP is the cheese that, among the most consumed, provides the greatest quantity of bioavailable calcium and also contains proteins with a high biological value, important vitamins such as B2, B12, vitamin A, and many minerals such as phosphorus and zinc. After one year of age, children can drink no more than half a glass of fruit juice a day, possibly one made with 100% fruit.
- In any case, it is always better to prefer fresh fruit to juices, because juices are easy to drink and, with them, many sugars are drunk, even when they are not added, i.e. the fructose of fruit.
- In addition, juices contain little fiber and often fewer vitamins and minerals than fresh fruit, so drinking large quantities of them can predispose children to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders.
This free tool allows you to calculate how much sugar your children eat in a day and to know how much sugar they should eat for their age. There are also plenty of food substitutions for healthier, less sugary foods.
What Drinks Are Not Recommended?
Before the age of five, the following are not recommended: Flavored milk – e.g. with cocoa, vanilla, or caramel. Drinks containing caffeine – e.g. cola, soda, coffee, mate, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Also, avoid tea as it contains theine. Low-calorie sweetened drinks – eg: flavored waters, 0-calorie sodas, including those sweetened with stevia, sucralose, or other low-calorie synthetic sweeteners.
Read Also: Drinking Coffee Is Good For The Heart!