Healthy drinks for kids

smiling boy holding a smoothie in a glass with a strawberry

Looking for something healthy to hydrate your kids? Forget the cordials, soft drinks and fruit juices, which are typically high in tooth‐decaying sugar and consider one of the following options:

Water – For kids of all ages, water is the best thirst‐quencher and should be the beverage of choice. Water is one of the body’s most essential nutrients and is the cornerstone of nearly all body functions. It helps keep a constant body temperature, lubricates body tissues, transports nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells and carries waste away. It has no sugar, is kilojoule free and is always available. The recommended daily intake of water for children is:

  • 5‐8 year olds drink 1L (5 glasses)
  • 9‐12 year olds drink 1.5L (7 glasses)
  • 13+ drink at least 2 L (8‐10 glasses)

If you’re finding it hard to get your child to drink enough, make it more appealing by giving them their own personalized water bottle, adding slices of lemon, lime, oranges or strawberries, and by using fun straws, umbrellas and ice‐cubes in interesting shapes.

  • MilkMilk is another good drink choice for kids. One cup of milk provides around 300mg of calcium, which is almost half of what a child between the ages of four and eight needs each day for strong bones and teeth.
  • Coconut water – For a fun and refreshing drink for your kids, choose coconut water. It’s a good source of potassium and other electrolytes, which help keep the body hydrated and contains much less sugar than sports drinks and fruit juices. Coconut water is available in poppers and bottles, or you can drink it straight out of a coconut itself.
  • Vegie juices – Can’t get your child to eat their vegies? Try encouraging them to drink them instead. Vegetable juices are a far better option than undiluted fruit juices which contain concentrated levels of sugar. Try various concoctions such as beetroot, carrot, celery, apple and ginger, or combine kale, spinach, pear, apple and lemon for a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruit smoothiesHealthy fruit smoothies can be a fun treat for kids. Blend yoghurt and milk with a banana or 1⁄2 cup of strawberries, raspberries or blueberries for a delicious morning or afternoon snack.