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Some of the advice – such as not introducing water until a baby turns 6 months and limiting fruit juice, isn't new.
Here are the beverages the panel advises you not to give your child:
- Flavored milk, such as chocolate or strawberry milk
- Toddler formulas, which often contain added sugar. Plus, your toddler doesn't need them, panelists said.
- Plant-based milks, such as almond, oat, or rice milk, as these lack key nutrients present in cow's milk. If you don't want to give your child cow's milk, soy milk is the preferred alternative. Consult with your doctor about what milk to use if your child is lactose-intolerant.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, which include sodas and any drinks with added sugar
- Calorie-free sweetened beverages, including those with stevia or sucralose. These drinks can condition kids to want sweet drinks, Megan Lott, deputy director of Healthy Eating Research, told the New York Times.
- Caffeinated drinks
Developed by a panel of the nation's leading medical organizations and released by the advocacy group Healthy Eating Research, the guidelines offer parents the strictest and most comprehensive advice to date on what to give young children to drink. The goal is to help tackle the nation's childhood obesity epidemic and improve nutrition for young kids.
Organizations behind the guidelines are the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
For further clarity, the group breaks down appropriate beverages by age:
- 0 to 6 months: Breast milk or infant formula only (the AAP says exclusive breastfeeding is preferred)
- 6 to 12 months: Breast milk or formula; a few sips of water at meals is okay
- 12 to 24 months: Whole cow's milk and water may be introduced; a small amount of 100 percent fruit juice is okay, but no fruit juice is better
- 2 to 5 years: Low-fat milk and water; if you choose to offer fruit juice, give only a small amount and consider diluting it with water. While fruit is a healthier choice.
Here's more information on what beverages to give – and not give – your child, along with how to introduce them:
Is juice good for kids?
Is chocolate milk healthy for my child?
Cow's milk: When and how to introduce it
When can babies drink water?
Is it safe to give soy milk to toddlers who won't drink cow's milk?
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