Thirst is the mechanism of our body to communicate that it needs water, since only water is capable of correcting this problem. Water is present in large quantities in our body, forming part of cells, blood, all organs and even the brain. But, Do you know what fluids children should drink to stay hydrated?
In fact, 70% of our body, as well as 85% of the brain are water, and correct hydration favors concentration and brain performance, in addition to helping to regulate body temperature and that water is the vehicle for the digestion of food and the subsequent transport of nutrients to the cells.
Drinks are the way we provide water to our body, so we have to be careful with what we consume and especially with those we offer to our little ones.
The newborn needs only breast milk to be hydrated. Breast milk contains the amount of water necessary for the baby to hydrate, and, since its content varies from the beginning (more water) to the end of the feeding (less water and more fat), it will be the baby through the frequency and the duration of the drink which decides how much water to drink. Even in summer, a breastfed baby does not need water, and in fact, offering it can compromise their feeding since water lacks the nutrients that milk contains.
From 6 months, water can begin to be offered, without forcing, since the baby will not be used to taking it. You will soon discover that the water refreshes and hydrates you and it will be the same who asks for it. Besides water, what other drinks can we offer babies and young children?
- Milk: Although milk cannot be used as a substitute for water, it can be offered as a supplement, as it is full of important nutrients for child growth, such as calcium and vitamin D.
- Juices: Natural juices contain a large amount of water, similar to that of the fruit from which they come. They contain vitamins and minerals in abundance, but unfortunately the amount of fiber is much less than the fruit, and the sugar is more available, so they are not as beneficial as the fresh fruit itself. Industrial juices should be avoided, but natural juices, without added sugar, can be used as an alternative to water on special occasions.
- Shakes and smoothies: By combining milk or yogurt with fresh fruit, we obtain these drinks that can complement water both at breakfast and as a snack, as they are nutritious and refreshing and provide some water from their components.
Carbonated drinks, industrial fruit drinks, whether they are juices or not, and any drink that contains caffeine should not be present in the child's diet due to their high sugar content and the latter, also, because caffeine interferes with hydration.
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