This is a question I’m often asked by parents. Almost two years to the day we initiated a service to our families by offering our current lunch program. The lunch program provides lunches to our enrolled children from our young toddlers through our school age children. The lunch program has been a huge success, not only does it provide a huge convenience for parents at an affordable cost but the lunches meet the government’s guidelines for nutritional value.
I mention this because as a part of the program, Kremmers the catering company that provides the lunches, brings daily amounts of low fat milk. Low fat milk has been a suggested part of a child’s diet as per doctors and pediatricians. It has been recommended that preschoolers should have 2 to 2 ½ cups of either low fat or non-fat milk each day. Getting children to drink milk is important so they can get bone building calcium and vitamin D. Flavored milks should be limited since they contain considerably more calories and sugars. For kids who cannot drink milk, doctors and pediatricians have recommended calcium-fortified soy milk as an alternative. This is where Kremmers plays such a vital role in our food program because not only do they provide our children with low fat milk but they are also able to meet the dietary needs of each individual child. Kremmers supplies both Soy and Almond milks.
Water is another important drink that doctors recommend. Through-out our day during our morning snack and afternoon snack periods we offer not only milk and water but we provide juice as well. Our juice is a concentrated liquid that when mixed with the specified amount of water it provides for 100% juice that meets the requirements set forth by the FDA, USDA, DHS & HACCP guidelines. Our concentrated juice is provided to us by J’s Anytime Juice. You can visit their website to read more about their 16 flavors and how you can purchase the same juice for your home. It is recommended however that parents should limit the amount of 100% juice to 4 to 6 ounces per day due to the significant amounts of sugar. J’s Anytime Juice contains only 11 grams of sugar per 4 ounce servings compared to some juice drinks that contain 10% fruit juice and will contain up to 38 grams of sugar.
Many children enjoy sodas but soda provides no nutritional value and are high in sugar. An 8 ounce serving of soda can contain up to 27 grams of sugar. Children may be less likely to drink milk or water if soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages area available. Studies have proven that drinking soda and other sugary beverages has been linked to excessive weight gain and other problems such as tooth decay. If you are going to opt to allow your children to drink sugary beverages one important tip is to drink such beverages through a straw as this lessens the effects of sweetened drinks on a child’s front teeth.
I hope this again has been a benefit to those parents who have raised the question, What Should Preschooler’s Drink? It is important to teach our children that water and milk are the most important drinks for them.