Select Region
Let's Get Social!

New Beverage Guidelines Detail Exactly What Kids Should and Should Not Be Drinking

New Beverage Guidelines Detail Exactly What Kids Should and Should Not Be Drinking

Spoiler alert: water should be paramount–and try to avoid fruit juice.

Healthy Eating Research, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program that supports research on policy, systems, and environmental strategies that have potential to promote healthy eating in children, just released guidelines on the beverages kids should be drinking as they grow. Healthy Eating Research identified gaps between recommendations issued by other authoritative bodies in terms of which drinks are healthy and which to avoid. In response, HER convened a panel representing four national health and nutrition organizations to develop comprehensive recommendations for childhood beverage consumption.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association worked together to come to a consensus. HER now reports that all kids five years old and younger should avoid drinking flavored milks, toddler formulas, plant-based and nondairy milks, caffeinated beverages, and sugar- and low-calorie sweetened beverages. These drinks can really contribute to add sugar in kids’ diets while providing no nutritional value.

For newborns to babies who are six months old, breast milk or infant formula will provide all the nutrition they need. Babies 6-12 months old can have a small amount of water along with breast milk or formula once solid foods are introduced–just enough water to get them used to how it tastes. (A few sips at mealtime is all it takes, HER says!) Once your baby is one year old (and until he’s two), you can add whole milk to his diet. Whole milk has many nutritional benefits. Water is also important at this stage for hydration–but make sure it’s never flavored. If you want to give him juice, stick to 100% fruit juice with no added sugar. Giving him small pieces of actual fruit is a better bet.

For kids ages 2-5, stick to water and milk. Swap lower-fat milks such as skim or 1% for whole milk–kids don’t need full fat anymore. If you choose to give your child fruit juice, again, make sure it’s a small amount. HER recommends cutting juice with water to make a little go a long way.

For more information on beverage guidelines, as well as other research reports and findings about kids’ nutrition, visit the HER website.

RELATED: Keep up with kids' health news!

More Health Articles:

8 Family Health and Fitness Tips for 2023

Check out these expert family health and fitness tips from Mike Silverman, director of sports at City Parks Foundation in NYC.

Latest News:

When Will the COVID Vaccine Be Available for Kids Under 12?

Pfizer has requested emergency use authorization for its COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11. The FDA is expected to announce a ruling between Halloween ...

Family Activities:

Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.
Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

Featured Listings:

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

Wheatley Heights , NY Music - Art - Theater - Dance - Nature - Writing - Chess - Nature & Ecology - Swimming - Tennis Air-conditioned buses from most Queens and LI neighb...

ABC Cakes

ABC Cakes

Mamaroneck, NY ABC Cakes specializes in custom cakes, as well as children's parties. Kids will be able to decorate and take their own cakes home. We love to see the ...

Abrakadoodle Art Studio for Kids

Abrakadoodle Art Studio for Kids

Hillsdale, NJ Paint, SLIME, draw, FUN, clay, GLITTER and so much more are all the cool things we do at our studio! Abrakadoodle has been serving the community for o...

Tooth Pillow Dentistry (The)

Tooth Pillow Dentistry (The)

Huntington, NY The Tooth Pillow Dentistry is a group of board-certified pediatric dentists and dentist anesthesiologists that work together to safely provide dental ...