by Alyson Shannon
In an ideal world, when your child needs a drink, you should only offer water or milk to avoid tooth decay. But, in the real world, as most parents can relate to, this is not always the best option as it can get a little boring for your child. However, there are a few healthy options to give your child, that doesn’t have a high sugar content and caters to your child’s sweet craving, without causing dental problems.
These options should not replace water and milk, as both are extremely nourishing, these options are a simple treat when your child is craving something a little different.
Fresh Fruit Infused Water
This is very much a European style of drinking water; use fruits or vegetables within the water. Fruits to use: Apples, pears, berries, lemons, lime and oranges. With fruits you need to use boiling water. Vegetables to use: Cucumber. With cucumber you do not use boiling water, just plain drinking water.
An example using Oranges:
Peel and segment some oranges and place them into a pan. Place some boiling water over them and then let the water cool. The oranges will infuse into the water giving it a slight orange taste.
Place the oranges and cooled water into a large clear plastic jug. Show the children the new colourful drinking water.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
The weather is well and truly in the colder season, and a great way to not only warm up your child and provide a healthy hot drink, is via a homemade hot chocolate. Once in a while, a homemade hot chocolate is perfect for growing kids and a lot healthier than the options in the supermarkets that are laden with added sugars that are harmful to kids’ teeth.
To make a healthy hot chocolate all you need is two ingredients:
Two cubes of good quality chocolate
Simply warm up the milk and add in the cubes, and a perfect ‘healthier’ hot chocolate is made, in less than ten minutes. However, It’s best to wait until your child is over the age of two before giving them chocolate, as it contains a small amount of caffeine that can leave him excitable and unable to sleep.
Shannon ChildCare recommends this as one of the best options to get real goodness into your child, as an alternative to milk and/or water. Using a liquidiser put Carrots and Oranges or Mangos Pineapples and Kale together, all of which have a sweet smell and taste, but are exceptionally healthy. To add a further ‘healthier’ element to the juice, organic vegetables are recommended.
Packed with nutrients and boasting a sweet taste, coconut water is great for your child. It’s also a great source of Calcium and Vitamin C and can help prevent dehydration when your child is unwell as it replenishes the natural salts that are lost when they are sick or have diarrhoea. Shannon ChildCare recommends Coconut Water as a great way to boost your child’s immune system, perfect for the winter months as colds prevail. Coconut Water is highly rich in lauric acid, the component present in breast milk. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which has anti-fungal, anti bacterial and anti-viral properties. Thus it acts as an excellent immunity booster.
Herbal teas can be given to children, but you must be sure to limit them like other sweet drinks, especially if they’ve been sweetened with sugar or honey.