Healthy drinks for children – VnExpress

Filtered water, coconut water, natural juices, whole milk … are drinks without added sugar, beneficial for the development of young children.

Most young children like sweet, sugary drinks. However, a diet high in sugar can lead to health problems later on, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Parents should teach their children the habit of eating balanced foods and drinks. Here are healthy drinks for kids.


Water is very important for health, necessary for important processes in the body, including temperature regulation, organ function. In fact, children have greater water needs than adults due to their rapid growth and high metabolic rate.

Unlike many beverages, water does not provide liquid calories, so children are less likely to feel full and lose their appetite. Drinking enough water can improve weight status, reduce the risk of tooth decay, and enhance cognitive function in children. Additionally, dehydration can negatively impact your baby’s health in many ways, potentially reducing brain function, causing constipation, and leading to fatigue.

Fresh juice

To appeal to children’s tastes without adding sugar and calories, parents can make their own juices for their children at home by combining fruits and vegetables, finding a favorite juice. As a result, children also receive nutrition from natural foods. Some drinks are good for children such as: pineapple and mint; cucumbers and watermelons; blueberries and raspberries; strawberry, lemon; orange and lemon… mixed with filtered water.

Fresh juice helps children to quench their thirst with healthy natural fruits. Image: Freepik

Coconut water

Despite its calories and sugar, coconut water is still a healthy choice. Coconut water contains a large amount of nutrients important to children, including vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. At the same time, it also provides electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium that are lost through sweat during exercise. This makes coconut water a hydrating alternative to sugary sports drinks for active kids.

Coconut water is also beneficial when children are sick, especially if they need rehydration after having diarrhea or vomiting. Note, unsweetened virgin coconut water is a good choice for children.


A smoothie is a way to mix fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods into nutritious drinks for kids. Ready-made smoothies often contain a lot of sugar, so parents should make their own smoothies with nutritious ingredients.

Smoothies can be helpful for picky eaters. Many vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, centella asiatica can be processed into a naturally sweet smoothie that your baby will love. Adults can mix ingredients with unsweetened milk, using healthy supplements like cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut, avocado or flaxseed. Because smoothies are high in calories, parents should give their children a snack during the day.

Homemade smoothies with no added sugar are good for kids' health.  Photo: Freepik

Homemade smoothies with no added sugar are good for kids’ health. Image: Freepik

Whole milk

Although many kids prefer sugary dairy drinks like chocolate or strawberry milk, whole milk is still the healthiest option. Whole milk has high nutritional value, providing protein, calcite, phosphorus, magnesium – nutrients necessary for bone health, especially important for growing children. Additionally, milk is often fortified with vitamin D, a vitamin essential for growth.

Some parents tend to give their children skim milk, but in reality, milk with a higher fat content may be better for young children. Children’s need for fat is higher than adults, because the metabolic rate increases, so fat is necessary for brain development and overall growth.

Unsweetened plant-based milk

For children who are intolerant to cow’s milk, unsweetened plant-based (nut milk) milk is a suitable substitute. Plant-based milks include hemp seeds, coconut, almonds, cashews, rice, and soy milk.

Similar to sweetened milk, sweetened plant-based milk can contain lots of added sugars and artificial sweeteners, so parents should choose unsweetened varieties. Plant-based unsweetened milk can be used on its own as a low-calorie beverage or combined with smoothies or oats. Many plant-based unsweetened dairy products provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, often fortified with nutrients like calcium, B12, and vitamin D.

Herbal tea

Some herbal teas such as mint, chrysanthemum, South African red tea… are alternatives to sugary, caffeine-free drinks, bringing a pleasant taste to children. Herbal teas provide nutritional benefits, which can help with pain or anxiety.

A study published in PubMed According to the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), chamomile tea and lemongrass tea are used to calm anxiety in children and adults. Chamomile is also used as a natural treatment for intestinal symptoms including: nausea, bloating, diarrhea, indigestion in both children and adults. Research shows that chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

Note, parents should consult their pediatrician before giving any herbal tea to their child. Herbal tea is not suitable for babies, so it should be given to children at a moderate temperature to avoid burns.

Chau Vu (Follow Healthline)


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