Children need to drink lots of water to be healthy. They should drink even more water when they are exercising and/or if it’s a hot day.
Children need many little drinks during their day. Regularly offer drinks, as your child might forget to drink when exercising and get dehydrated (lose a lot of water), this can be dangerous for young children.
Have lots of these:
- Water is ideal – it’s cheap and you can get it anywhere. Always have a bottle of cold water in your fridge.
- Milk is a great choice for children since it provides protein, energy, and vitamins and minerals. Offer milk after or between meals for a snack.
- Children under 3 years of age who no longer have milk as their sole source of nutrients should limit milk to 2 cups (500 ml) each day. If young children drink too much milk they may feel full and then not eat enough food to get the nutrients they need to grow well.
- Don't have too much fruit juice – it's full of sugar. If you are drinking fruit juice, weaken it by adding water (1⁄2 a cup of water for 1⁄2 a cup of juice) and try to consume it with your meal – this can help to defend your teeth from the sugar in the fruit juice.
- Soft drinks are filled with sugar and sometimes have caffeine. They should be 'rare' drinks (under once a week).
- Don’t offer tea or coffee to children. They contain caffeine which may affect children’s sleep and lead to dehydration. Other substances found in tea and coffee can lower the level of iron children get from food.
- Never give your children energy drinks, energy shots or drinks with guarana. These have a lot of caffeine and most are extremely high in sugar.