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3 top beverage choices for toddlers:

A beverage plan is an important component of an overall healthy food plan for pre-schoolers.
By Motherpedia
Date: April 11 2015
Editor Rating:

Chances are you’re quite selective about what your pre-schooler is eating every day. But are you also looking at what she drinks? With so many drink choices and claims around nowadays, what is the right beverage choice for your pre-schooler?

Overall, experts advise to offer your pre-schooler water and fat-free or low-fat milk as beverage choices. You may also offer small amounts of 100% fruit juice. This handy checklist gives you an idea of the benefits of each choice and the best way to serve it.


  • When your pre-schooler is thirsty, water is a good beverage choice. It provides the fluid your child's body needs.
  • Be sure to have water available when your child is playing outdoors or doing other physical activity.
  • In Australia, bottled water is not better or safer than regular tap water, and is an added expense.
  • "Flavoured" waters or "vitamin" waters may have added sweeteners. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts label on these beverages – it is unlikely that your toddler will need them.


  • Milk and milk products provide many vital nutrients that your pre-schooler needs for growth. It is a good choice to offer as a beverage at meals and snacks.
  • While some children don't drink enough milk, others sometimes prefer to fill up on milk and avoid other important foods. Pre-schoolers need about 2 to 2 ½ cups from the dairy group each day. Help your child get enough but not too much milk.
  • The recommendation is for fat-free or low-fat milk.  These have the same amounts of calcium, protein and vitamin D as whole or 2% milk, but less saturated fat and calories.
  • All types of fluid milk are typically fortified with vitamin D. Some yogurts are also fortified with vitamin D. These are a good thing as they help to build and maintain bones, but you don’t otherwise need to add it to your toddler’s diet.

100% fruit juice

  • Regardless of whether it’s fresh, frozen, canned or dried, fruit provides more fibre than juice, so offer your toddler fruit more often than fruit juice.
  • When you do offer them fruit juice, look for beverages that have 100% fruit juice on the label, and limit the quantity to between ½ and ¾ cup per day.
  • Be aware that sweetened beverages such as fruit punch and fruit drinks look like fruit juice, but may contain little or no fruit. These drinks, as well as some flavoured waters, sweetened teas, and sports drinks, provide calories, but little or no nutrients.
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