Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Cardiology Association, led by the leading research organization in the field of nutrition, Healthy Eating Research have developed recommendations for the consumption of drinks for young children - from birth to 5 years.
To develop evidence-based recommendations, experts conducted an extensive review of the scientific literature, existing manuals from national and international organizations, and other documents.
So, the selection of recommended drinks is as follows (it should be noted that these recommendations apply only to healthy children):
0-6 months: only breast milk (or artificial milk mixture).
6-12 months: in addition to breast milk / mixture, a small amount of drinking water can be given to children after the introduction of solid food. A few sips with a meal are enough. It is better not to give juices to children, as they have no nutritional benefits compared to whole fruits.
12-24 months: children can be given whole milk, regular drinking water, a small amount of 100% fruit juice without added sugar (but preferably small pieces of real fruit).
2-5 years: skim milk, water (0.7-0.9 liters per day), a small amount of 100% fruit juice.
In the diet of young children, drinks containing added sugar should be avoided, including flavored milk, sugar-containing and low-calorie sweetened drinks, as well as drinks with caffeine and vegetable / non-milk milk (almond, rice, oatmeal). All of these foods do not have unique nutritional value.
Studies show that the fact that children drink from birth to 5 years, not only affects their eating habits in the future, but also significantly affects their health both in the present and in the future, therefore it is extremely important to properly organize the child’s diet from the very birth.