Two big independent studies just proved for once and for all: soft drinks cause obesity. Diet drinks aren’t an option either as sweeteners boost snacking behavior. Plus, the acidity of soft drinks damages our teeth enamel. There’s a much better way to quench thirst.
Put a jug on the table, and let children serve themselves! Add a few sprigs fresh mint or some lemon slices for extra freshness (and good looks).
Naturally flavored tea with fruit or fresh herbs (like mint, chamomile, fennel) works wonders for kids. Don’t add sugar, otherwise it becomes a hot soft drink. If your child is used to sugar in tea, gradually decrease it.
Should children drink milk? When it comes to healthy bones and teeth, most people immediately think of milk, which is a good source of calcium. Still the amount of elderly people breaking their hip bones is higher in countries where people consume lots of milk. Building strong bones also requires enough exercise – at least one hour a day for kids – and enough vitamin D. Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard University says: ‘If you want strong bones, don’t drink the milk but take your cow for a walk.’ We’d advise all parents to read up on this issue, to make informed choices. One to two servings a day (if your child is not allergic or intolerant to milk) seem to be more than enough.
Coconut water, fortified organic soy milk, rice milk or almond milk (unsweetened).
Consider serving a cup of homemade soup for lunch. It’s also a perfect after school treat. Fill it with vegetables!
shakes and smoothies
Invest the money you save on soft drinks in fruit. Mix up some frozen fruit like raspberries and strawberries, with a banana and orange juice. Kids just love it. And don’t forget to check out this tropical treasure
ingredients for 4 glasses:
- ½ pineapple
- 1 (ripe!) mango
- ¼ inch peeled ginger root
- 8 leaves Romaine lettuce
- 1½ cup water
- optional: 2 tsp chia seeds
Cut the pineapple into chunks. Mince the ginger root. Wash the Romaine lettuce.
Cut the mango into two oval pieces. Gently score lengthwise and crosswise, just to the skin. Push the scored mango flesh outward and cut off diced sections.
Transfer all ingredients to a blender. Add 1½ cup water. Blend until smooth.
Pour juice into glasses. Optional: top each serving with ½ teaspoon chia seeds.
This recipe is adapted from our Veggi Rider iPad app, which combines delicious, sustainable family meals with food education in a highly animated way.