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22 September, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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New healthy drinks guidelines for kids: Skip the soy, avoid sugars

New healthy drinks 
guidelines for kids: 
Skip the soy, avoid sugars

Four of America's biggest health organisations are banding together to urge parents to better monitor the drinks their young kids sip each day. The take-home message from the new "Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids" guidelines: Cut down on sugary sodas, juices and the like, and favour breast milk or cow's milk for youngsters instead of trendy plant-based milks.

"As a pediatrician, I know what a child drinks can be almost as important as what they eat, in terms of a healthy diet. This is especially true for very young children," said Dr. Natalie Muth, who represented the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on the expert panel. Muth spoke in a news release that accompanied the new guidelines.

"We know that children learn what flavours they prefer at a very early age -- as young as 9 months -- and these preferences can last through childhood and adulthood," she added. "That's why it's important to set them on a healthy course, and this guide will help parents and caregivers do that."

The recommendations were created by experts at the AAP, the American Heart Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

With an epidemic of childhood obesity firmly in place in the United States, anything parents can do to cut down on empty calories and boost nutrition is crucial.

From birth up to age 5, the recommendations are:

•    0-6 months: Breast milk is best, or use infant formula.

•    6 to 12 months: Stick with breast milk or formula, and as baby starts to take in solid foods, try introducing water so your infant gets used to the taste. Avoid fruit juices -- it offers no nutrient boost compared to whole fruit, the experts said.

•    1 to 2 years: Now's the time to add in whole milk, and more water, to your child's diet. Fruit juice -- and only 100% "real" juice -- can be given in small amounts, although, again, whole fruit is better.

•    2 to 5 years: Stick with milk and water, and move kids to skim or 1% milk. A small amount of 100% juice is OK.

Noticeably absent fr om the recommendations are plant-based milks such as rice, soy or almond milks.

"In the last five to 10 years there has been an explosion of interest in plant-based milk.

More and more parents are turning to them for a variety of reasons and there's a misconception that they are equal somehow to cow or dairy milk, but that's just not the case," Megan Lott, deputy director at Healthy Eating Research, explained to CNN.

Lott, who helped devise the new guidelines, stressed that plant-based milk products simply don't have enough of the crucial nutrients -- such as vitamin D and calcium -- that children can gain from cow's milk. So the only exceptions to the guideline might be if a child is lactose intolerant, or if a family is strictly vegan or has religious rules against cow's milk.

Also a no-no for kids: Any drink with caffeine in it. Besides coffee and tea that also includes many sodas, of course.

 HealthDay

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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