It is a precious milestone when your kids can finally start their solid food journey. As parents, you can’t be more excited for them, but transitioning from breast milk to solids can be challenging. First, you have to create meals that give your kids proper nutrition, but you also have to make sure that they actually enjoy eating them. In addition, kids are picky eaters, and there will be a long list of food ingredients they’ll avoid.
Introducing new flavors may require some trial and error. But worry not, parents! We will help you make mealtimes fun and enjoyable for your little one. We’ll start with creating delicious drinks, as these are an easier way to introduce new tastes to your kid’s palate.
This article will discuss the best drinks for your kids, what to avoid, and the best sippy cups to prevent your kids from making a mess.
What Are the Best Drinks for Toddlers?
Several developmental changes occur during the first two years of your little one’s life. For these changes to happen properly, supporting them with a balanced diet is important. In the first six months, most of a baby’s nutrition will come from breast milk or formula, but as they grow older, you can introduce other drinks to them.
Baby-friendly drinks are all over the market. But are they healthy and safe for your kids to drink? Here are some you can consider giving your kids.
Milk is the best source of nutrition for little kids. But of course, breast milk can only go so far until mothers run out. According to pediatricians, kids one year of age can already consume whole cow’s milk, and as they reach three years old, you can transition them to 1% skim milk. You can find milk in supermarkets easily, and they are some of the most nutritious drinks you can give your growing kids.
Milk is a great source of vitamin D and calcium, promoting strong teeth and bone growth. However, doctors recommend giving your toddlers a maximum of 16 ounces of milk daily. This ensures they will not feel overly full and get other required nutrition from their meals.
Water is an excellent way to keep your kids hydrated when your kids hit the age of one. Water is calorie-free and contains no sugar, so it won’t cause any harm to your kids. Make it a habit for your kids to drink at least one glass of water daily. Water helps promote a healthy digestive system and blood flow.
You can increase your child’s water intake as they grow older, especially on hot days and when they are feeling thirsty. In addition, you can add natural flavors to the water, like combinations of strawberries and lemon, pineapple, and mint, for your kids to enjoy.
Every kid loves fruit juice, and it’s okay to let your kids drink them in moderation. Commercial fruit juices sold in supermarkets may have some nutritional value, but they have plenty of added sugars and preservatives. These additional ingredients can cause obesity and other health complications. Dieticians recommend four ounces of fruit juices maximum for a toddler to enjoy and get nutritional benefits.
If your kids love juice, it’s better to look for all-natural products with no additives. You can also make smoothies from fresh fruits for a healthier drink. Different fruits contain several essential nutrients that promote proper growth and development.
Unfortunately some kids develop lactose intolerance at an early age. The good news is that there are plant-based milk you can substitute for dairy milk. Plant-based milk is good for your kids—coconut, almond, soy, cashew, and rice milk are great alternatives.
Some variants of this milk have added sugar and artificial sweeteners, so check and get unsweetened versions to make the most of its nutritional value. In addition, unsweetened versions are nearly calorie-free, so your kids will still eat their meals after drinking the milk.
Certain types of teas are caffeine-free, which is safe for your kids. Herbal teas like chamomile, mint, and lemongrass have nutritional benefits and have a pleasant taste kids can learn to enjoy. Certain teas have calming properties that can soothe anxiety. Some also have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for sore throats and intestinal inflammation.
What Are the Drinks to Avoid?
Of course, adult drinks are a big no for kids. Even a small sip can harm them. Here are some beverages kids must avoid.
Drinks with caffeine are off-limits to children. Beverages that contain caffeine are black and green teas, iced teas, and soda. Adults can tolerate huge amounts of caffeine, but it is different for a young child. Caffeine can cause shaking, and it can disrupt naps, making them irritable. It can also cause stomach pain, raise blood pressure, and hinder brain development.
There are many reasons why you should never give soda to your little one. First, soda has high concentrations of sugar—by high concentration, we mean significantly more than that of instant fruit juices. Giving soda to your kids is a huge cause of diabetes, obesity, and heart complications in children.
Moreover, soda has no nutritional value. It contains empty calories that suppress your children’s appetite, hindering them from getting the proper nutrients from a balanced diet. Soda can also affect bone growth and contribute to tooth decay. So it’s best to steer clear of soda for your kids.
Choosing the Best Sippy Cup for Your Kids
A traditional sippy cup is a great way to teach your toddler independence and keep them from making a mess. When you walk into a baby store, variations of toddler sippy cups will be available. But which one is best for your little kids? Here are some considerations to note when looking for the best sippy cup for your kids.
Food-grade silicone is best for feeding bottles and sippy cups alike. This material is guaranteed safe for your kids to use, and it will last them a long time. You can also consider getting plastic sippy cups as they’re durable and more affordable, but make sure the material is toxic-free. Plastics usually consist of BPA, a chemical that can affect a baby’s development.
Spout vs. No Spout
Sippy cups are just another version of a baby bottle, where spouts are the nipples. There are two types of sippy cups: one with spouts and one without. A hard spout is great for children who are not yet accustomed to swallowing. Spouts restrict liquid flow and prevent your kids from choking on their drinks.
On the other hand, spoutless sippy cups are best for teaching your kids how to drink without sucking, like they are used to because of feeding bottles. If your toddler still has difficulties with spoutless cups, a straw sippy cup may be a better option.
No Spill Feature
One thing about mealtime is that you always have to expect a mess. Therefore, a spill-proof feature is a must-have for a drinking cup. Although little kids are likely to play with or topple their cups, this feature will eliminate the hassle of having to clean up spilled liquids. Furthermore, the handles on these cups will help your kids with their grip.
Ashtonbee’s Silicone Sippy Cup Lids
It’s fun watching your kids learn how to eat on their own. Mealtimes are enjoyable, but they can also be messy. Your kids are still developing their motor skills, so grabbing a regular cup and utensils can still be challenging.
Sippy cups are best used to keep your kids from spilling their drinks. But sooner than later, your kids will outgrow their drinking cups. Ashtonbee offers sippy cup lids that turn any mug into no-spill baby cups. These are must-have feeding gadgets, especially when transitioning your kids from breast milk or formula.
Let’s check out the sippy cup lids Ashtonbee offers:
- The silicone sippy cup lid is made from high quality, food-grade silicone; it’s safe for your kids to use and put in their mouths. The silicone material is guaranteed BPA-, PVC-, lead-, and phthalates-free.
- These lids can turn any cup into a spill-proof sippy cup. The lid is compatible with any drinking cup with an opening between 2.5 to 3.75 inches.
- The sippy cup lids are easy to clean. Just wash them with soap and water or place them in the dishwasher.
- These sippy cup lids come in five pieces per pack. Perfect for an on-the-go feeding gadget that only costs $13.99.
Ashtonbee offers more than just lids for baby cups. Don’t forget to check our feeding essentials for your kids.
What your kids drink is also an essential part of a balanced diet. We know that introducing your kids to flavors is an exciting endeavor, but remember, not all you find tasty is safe for your kids to drink. We hope this list of nutritious drinks and what to avoid helps you make their mealtime more fun.
When it comes to drinking cups, don’t forget to try our sippy cup lids that can turn any mug into a baby-safe and no-spill drinking cup. Ashtonbee offers a wide collection of high quality baby essentials, so browse our shop and visit our blogs for more informative parenting tips.