Are Low-Sugar Drinks for Kids a Good Idea? Let Us Find Out.
“Healthy eating” has become a very popular thing among adults and, as time goes by, those adults become parents and try to apply the same principles to their children’s alimentation.
Having a healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity. Doing physical activity and being conscious about our food choices are the first set of steps towards a more wholesome life. And yet, up to what extent should we worry about the kind of drinks our children take?
Do they really need to drink beverages with low to no sugar content? Or is it just better to worry about providing nutritious drinks packed with minerals and vitamins to our children? Let us find out if low-sugar drinks for kids are a yes or a hard pass.
The problem with tags.
Healthy drinks are often associated with the concept of “healthy eating” or “clean eating”, and tags names are the first thing that raises our concern.
Because food is just that: food.
It is not good or bad, it does not have moral principles, and certainly, unless your food is literally covered with dirt, there is no other reason to call it “junk” or “dirty”. The problem with these tags is that we tend to pass them on to our children, and that could contribute to developing a problematic relationship with food.
When we tag food using names like “healthy food” or “clean food”, we are automatically saying that the opposite to that is plain bad and not good for you. But, in reality, the best way to develop a healthy approach towards eating is by including all kinds of food in our children’s alimentation plan.
That being said, of course, a green juice made with spinach and fruits has more nutritional content than a light coke, but that does not mean that the diet coke is “bad for you”.
If you worry about the amount of added sugar your children are consuming on a daily basis and want to switch to other alternatives, make sure to leave tags out of the table.
What alternatives do we have?
If low-sugar or sugar-free beverages are already present in our home, we can occasionally let our children explore that option when they want to drink something.
On the other hand, we can try to explore options of beverages that offer a more “natural” content if we are worrying about the chemicals our children may consume with the most “industrial” type of drink. Here are some of the options we can explore:
- Natural juices: the fruit has glucose in it, therefore, it tastes sweet and some juices made with fresh fruits can prevent the use of added sugars.
- Almond milk: usually, nut milk has added sugar, but you can find low-sugar o sugar-free versions that taste good enough.
- Coconut water: very refreshing and with a sweet taste that is unique. This is always a great option.
- Flavored water.
- Fat-free milk.
- Fortified Soy drinks.
We do not recommend giving our children things like sports drinks (such as Gatorade or Powerade) or energy drinks since these beverages usually contain caffeine and other stimulants that can affect our children’s minds and bodies.
What is the best age to start?
The American Pediatric Association clearly says that children should drink approximately 4 ounces of juice per day. Yet, water should remain the go-to beverage while growing up.
If we want to initiate our children into the path of living a more healthy and balanced lifestyle, not restricting these drinks is probably the best approach we can take. After all, if we think of them as a treat, we are just contributing to enlarging the problem of tags and names.
Some experts agreed that probably from 5 years and older is the best time to introduce low-sugar drinks as the occasional alternative beverage for kids. But, if your child is a picky eater, you can try to introduce them a little bit earlier.
This article is not in any way a replacement for expert medical advice. If you have serious doubts about whether your children can drink these beverages, the best is to consult your pediatrician of trust.
The balance in the force is the key.
At Spimbey, we preached balance as the most beautiful way to live life.
Provide your children with a balanced diet with both nutritious and delicious foods and drinks and they will intuitively develop a good relationship with food. Pair that with regular exercise, and you got yourself a formula for success.
And since we are talking about exercise, what best way to sweat a little bit during the hot days of the year than playing with a Spimbey?
Our modular outdoor playsets allow you to transform your backyard into a magical land where your children can thrive and have hours of fun and joy.
Check and explore our webshop and find the best fit for the healthy and balanced lifestyle you are looking to create with your children and family.
Spimbey is fun that lasts.