What Should Preschoolers Drink?
The best drinks for preschoolers — and for kids of all ages — are milk and water. Whenever possible, discourage your kids from drinking soda and other sugary, calorie-dense drinks as thirst-quenchers because water or milk will do the job just as well.
Preschoolers should consume 2 to 2½ cups (480-360 milliliters) of low-fat or nonfat milk (or equivalent dairy products) every day.
Now is the time to get kids into the habit of drinking milk so they can get bone-building calcium and vitamin D and other important nutrients they need. Limit flavored milks, but if you do serve it, avoid premixed chocolate or strawberry drinks, which often contain considerably more calories, sugar, and fat than milk you flavor yourself. For kids who don't drink milk, calcium-fortified soy milk is a good alternative.
Avoid juice drinks and limit 100% juice — which has a significant amount of sugar — to no more than one serving, about 4-6 ounces (120-180 milliliters) a day. Too much juice can contribute to excess weight gain, diarrhea, and tooth decay.
|Water||8 ounces (240 ml)||0||0 g|
|Low-fat milk||8 ounces (240 ml)||100||11 g|
|100% orange juice||8 ounces (240 ml)||110||22 g|
|Juice drink (10% fruit juice)||8 ounces (240 ml)||150||38 g|
|Powdered drink mix (with sugar added)||8 ounces (240 ml)||90||24 g|
|Soda||8 ounces (240 ml)||100||27 g|
Soda Gets in the Way
Many kids like cola and other soft drinks, but these have no nutritional value and are high in sugar. One study found that more than 1 out of 3 preschoolers drank soda on the day before the survey. On average, the kids drank over 8 ounces of soda or sugar-sweetened fruit drink, but only drank 12 ounces of milk, which is less than the recommended 16-20 ounces a day.
Kids may be less likely to drink enough milk if soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are available. Besides calcium, milk offers other important nutrients, including vitamin D, potassium, and protein.
Drinking soda and other sugary beverages has been linked to excessive weight gain and other problems, including tooth decay. And kids tend to drink increasing amounts as they get older.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
WORKBOOKSMay Workbooks are Here!
WE'VE GOT A GREAT ROUND-UP OF ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR LONG WEEKENDS, STAYCATIONS, VACATIONS ... OR JUST SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN!Get Outside! 10 Playful Activities
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- Steps in the IEP Process