Everyone knows how important it is to get kids to eat healthy – and how difficult it can be. But what about drinks? You may think you’re giving your child a healthy drink – until you read the labels. Most drinks that are marketed for children as being healthy, really aren’t. They’re cleverly designed to appeal to trusting and unsuspecting parents who think they are making wise choices for their kids.
In fact, many of these products contribute to the obesity problem in children in our country, as well as being a leading cause for early oral health problems.
It is only common sense that letting your kids drink sugary drinks is not good for them. That is the reason most parents do not give their children soft drinks. Many parents don’t realize the fruit drinks that are advertised as being healthy for children – are as bad as giving them a soda.
Just because you don’t give your children soft drinks doesn’t mean that what they are drinking is actually much healthier. For school-age kids, one of the first things they do when they come through the door after school is reach for a drink. To quote public health officials – some of the most popular drinks that are marketed specifically for children are merely “liquid candy.”
Some of these drinks contain as much or more sugar in one container than a child should be getting from all of their foods in a day’s time. They are packaged to appeal to kids and handy to pack. Some have added vitamin C to make them seem healthier.
- High in sugar
- Low in natural juice
- High in calories
Don’t be fooled by advertising and clever packaging. Many drinks that are successfully marketed as yogurt smoothies and high in calcium, only have a slight amount of calcium and are high in sugar and calories.
For a bit of sweetness – in a healthy way, you can give your child natural fruit juices – making sure they are 100% natural fruit with no added sugar. Making your own juice is a great way to ensure that your child is getting only natural ingredients.
What Sugary Drinks Do To Your Children’s Teeth
Even though you are teaching your child healthy oral habits such as brushing and flossing, these advantages can be reversed by letting your children drink sugary drinks.
When sugary substances are in the mouth, the sugar latches on to teeth. Otherwise normal bacteria that is found in the mouth feeds on the sugar that the drinks leave behind. As the sugar is being consumed by bacteria, acid is produced – which gradually eats away at the tooth enamel. When teeth enamel is weakened the teeth become thinner and weaker. Weakened tooth enamel is much more likely to develop cavities.
Dentistry for children experts advise that sugary drinks are one of the most common causes of tooth decay.
Minimizing Tooth Decay In Your Child
Those who specialize in dentistry for children have offer this advice how to minimize your child’s risk for dental problems.
- Develop water and milk drinking habits early on
- Minimize or avoid sugary drinks
- Teach good oral health habits
- Schedule regular visits with the child’s dentist
If you establish good drinking and eating habits at an early age, your child is less likely to develop a taste for sugary drinks. You should completely avoid or at the very least minimize your child’s intake of sugary drinks. Start good oral health habits at an early age and make sure your child gets regular dental checkups.