From water to alcoholic drinks adults can enjoy a variety of drinks suited for different moods and different occasions. When it comes down to children, it is important to know that there are restrictions based on a child’s age that will help you understand whether or not a drink is suitable for your child. So make yourself a cup of tea and get yourself familiar with recommended – and not recommended – drinks for children:
- Breastmilk: This is essentially the only liquid your child will need from birth until at least six months of age. It is recommended to breastfeed the baby for a year or longer if desired.
- Water: You can choose whether or not to give your child water before she is six months. If you decide to do so, it will not harm the baby. After six months, you should offer water to your child. You can start teaching your baby to drink water from the sippy cup around 6-8 months.
- Cow’s milk: Cow’s milk and powdered milk is not recommended for babies under 12 months of age. Children are usually not able to properly digest it before that age. Cow’s milk can make your child anemic or hurt her kidneys.
- Infant formula: This is a substitute for breastmilk. It should be given to a baby until she is one year old. After that, there is no need for formula – the baby should make a transition to solid foods.
- Tea: Caffeinated teas should not be given to infants or toddlers. You can offer your child some unsweetened herbal tea after six months of age to help with colics. Caraway, chamomile, fennel and dill are the best choices for an under a year old.
- Juice: Since juices contain sugars, they are not recommended for children because they contain unnecessary calories and can cause teeth decay. If you wish to offer juice to your child who is over six months old, dilute it with at least 50% water. Offer it at meal times (not as a snack) and from a sippy cup.
- Soda: Packed with caffeine and empty calories, soda drinks should not be given to infants or toddlers.
- Coffee: It is not recommended to give coffee to infants or toddlers. Caffeine is not recommended until at least the age of 10.