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What’s OK for young kids to drink?

Photo: quavondo/iStockphoto

As your baby grows, you’ll start introducing new flavors to them. But when it comes to drinks, it can be difficult to know what’s healthy and what’s not for young kids – especially if you’re a new parent.

Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says parents and caregivers should avoid giving to young children:
Cow’s milk. Giving cow’s milk to children younger than 12 months puts them at risk for intestinal bleeding. “Cow’s milk also has too many proteins and minerals for your baby’s kidneys to handle easily,” the CDC warns.
Sugar-sweetened drinks. Soda, flavored milks, sports drinks, water flavored with sugar and juices all contain added sugars. If your child is younger than 12 months, take a pass on offering these beverages. For an older child, moderation is key. “Juice after 12 months old is not necessary, but 4 ounces or less of 100% juice a day can be provided,” the CDC says. “Check Nutrition Facts labels to make sure it is 100% juice.”
Unpasteurized drinks. These beverages may put your child at risk for a harmful bacteria that can cause diarrhea. Don’t give your child unpasteurized juices or milk (sometimes referred to as raw milk). What are unpasteurized juices? According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Juices that are fresh-squeezed and sold by the glass, such as at farmer’s markets, at roadside stands or in some juice bars, may not be pasteurized, or otherwise treated to ensure their safety. Warning labels are not required on these products.”

Still have questions? Talk with your pediatrician.

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